This post will be one of the rawest, most personal ones you’ll see. I was conflicted on whether or not I even wanted to post such a personal glimpse of my life and decided to go ahead with it. We have all lost someone we care about. I want this blog to be just what the title says: life according to a Christian millennial in the church. The implications of that include seeing the happy times in my life but also the trials that produce sadness.
The Bacone community lost a fellow brother in Christ, beloved professor, mentor, and friend yesterday morning and it was announced this afternoon. Dr. Gideon Sein was an incredible asset to Bacone’s science department. He also taught Sunday School at Boulevard Christian Church.
The reason I mention this—he was a strong spiritual influence on me. I took his Human Biology class at 8am one semester following the worst year ever in my life. I was almost irreparably broken and on the verge of suicide. He taught me more about ministry and discipleship than any Christian Ministry class I’ve taken. Due to a year spent enduring severe emotional and spiritual trauma, I had no idea what unconditional love was. Through the love that had to come from his relationship with Christ, he taught me what it meant to love someone unconditionally. There was a 6-week window where I was the only student in our lab sessions. The most sacred spiritual conversations I’ve ever had to this day happened in that science lab. Quoting Scripture while looking through a microscope at skin cells are things I still remember. I remember him asking me about my relationship with Christ while we were discussing graft vs. host, comparing skin and tissue cells, and learning how to diagram skin cells. It was my first time experiencing ministry outside the church.
He knew how spiritually wounded I was and he was the only person in my life who I felt safe enough with to confide in. He took me under his wing. I was in so much emotional, mental, and spiritual pain that I had no idea how I would make it through the day hour-by-hour. I was existing by taking each day literally breath-by-breath. I was that severely depressed and suicidal. The love he showed me was what saved my life. I transferred to NSU the following semester and he kept in close contact with me. Because he made health science seem so fun, I took Anatomy and Physiology. He kept in close contact with me and the only way I got an ‘A’ in the class was due to his coaching on how to memorize all the bones in the body and how to diagram all the muscles.
I share this because we should all aspire to be that person to someone else. Discipleship doesn’t have to take place solely at church, a Bible study, or in another ministry setting. For me, it took place in a classroom at 8am. I say this to encourage anyone reading this to begin praying for God to send you someone to pour into. This is how we make disciples. As a student mentor with a temperament that consists of enjoying solitude and working solo a little too much, it pushes me out of my comfort zone. I’ve said this before. Iron sharpens iron. You don’t need to be trained to pour into someone—you do it by loving on that person and through that, they’ll see Jesus in you. When I mentor my girls, I legally can’t mention religion due to the program being federally state funded. I try the best I can to show God’s love through how I present myself, how I talk, and how I interact with them. Discipleship doesn’t happen in a vacuum. That’s a lesson another mentor has spent a year ingraining in my head. It wasn’t until just a few weeks ago that I really understood what that meant. We as Christians can’t be afraid to hold back in ministering to others. That’s a lesson I am still learning. I haven’t mastered it yet by any means, but I’m working on it.
In closing because I don’t want this to be too lengthy, I want to encourage whoever is reading this to begin praying for boldness to share your faith with others. Taking it one step further, I want to also challenge you to begin praying for God to send someone in your life to share your faith with whether it be someone at school or a coworker. If you already have someone in mind, I want to also challenge you to begin praying for that person. In keeping with the ongoing theme of “Unity in the Community”, this is part of how we make our community better—by pouring into someone and that person pouring into someone else. Together, we can be the change we wish to see in our community.
Love and light,
Sein, Gideon M., 73, Connors State College and Bacone College professor, died Monday. Service 10 a.m. Saturday, Boulevard Christian Church. Cornerstone.