When I was in college I had an awesome professor/Campus Minister, Earl. Being a Religious Studies major I got to have a lot of classes with him. Being a religious nerd I pretty much participated in every Campus Ministry program there was, many of which he led. This was the basis of our relationship. Earl, always reached out beyond the Religious Studies/Campus Ministry realm. Because I went to a small, Catholic, Liberal Arts University all students were required to take some type of Religious Studies course so many people knew and loved Earl. Earl was someone that you would go to when you had a problem. Many, many, many people went to him with there problems. I didn't seek out his advice too often but I remember specific times when I had a problem and I knew that he was the one I should go to.
Yesterday was the second day of the Spring semester here. Things are really getting busy. I had been in meetings all morning long, had a bit of work to do BUT was actually leaving because the dust from our construction project was becoming "unhealthy." Just then one of my students came in. She initially wanted to talk to me about how she could get involved and help more with our programming. She ended up talking to me for over and hour about how the guy she broke up with at the end of last year was now dating someone else (who also attends out parish) and how hard this was for her. I listened a lot. I did try to offer "advice" or to change her mind but I hoped I helped her to look at the situation in a different way and to work to change the things she had control over. I don't even know if I did a good job but as I went home I realized, I have become the person that my "students" come to for advice. Wow! How the heck did I get here? Earl died from a terrible battle with cancer a little over a year ago. I think about him often. I know that I am not as wise or wonderful as this man was but I think that he would be proud to know that what he was to me as a teacher and friend has carried on into how I do my ministry. I know that I am not the only one.
Shrimp Scampi with Zoodles
15 hours ago