Once a Student, Always a Student

Ellen_August_Blog_Once-a-Student

There are two rounds of interviews with the same four people being interviewed in each round. Each person gives two pieces of information in each interview, but only one piece in each round is true. Each person has a first name, a last name, an occupation, and an age. Match each person with their respective information.

Are you lost? So was I.

“Andre” and I faced this problem last week. It was part of the application for a computer science educational program I was helping him complete. (And here I’d thought that my two years as a chemistry major and studying for the GRE test wouldn’t come in handy at Emmaus!)

When we first sat down to this problem, I was at a complete loss as to how to begin. It seemed like a never-ending, maddening merry-go-round. Andre said that some people took 80 tries to solve it, and I could see why. It seemed hopeless.

Then Andre was able to narrow down one field and find one little piece of information that we were absolutely sure was true. From there, we got the ball rolling and the truths began to reveal themselves. Once all of the blanks were filled in, we held our breath and submitted the answer.

A screen popped up that said our answer was correct! We were so excited that we jumped up, high-fived, and did a little victory dance. (Alright, maybe I was the only one dancing.) It felt so good to solve that seemingly impossible problem.

Later, we were back in the Ministry Center and still on cloud nine. While we were talking about how excited we were, Andre said something profound.

“You know, it really was a lot like life. Sometimes you look at something and you think there’s no way you could ever get out of it or figure it out, like you’re just going to keep going in circles forever. But it just takes that one little thing to break out and turn things around. You just have to sit there and think about it from a different angle, and eventually it will happen.”

His wisdom in that moment struck me deeply. That “one little thing” is what we try to help our men find at Emmaus. The one little thing that will help them get out of a life on the streets and into a life-giving relationship with Jesus. On that day, Andre helped me find one more little thing, and I felt honored to once again be a student.

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