You just entered your senior and final year at MIT, are going to be graduating in May with a degree in electrical engineering and computer science, and today, you are asked by the university to pause for fifteen minutes to remember all the students who have taken their own lives in your short but long time here.
You think you would prefer to just stay in class; the memory surfaces fears about your future, graduation, and the meaning of life. But your professor ends class so you decide to wander down the infinite corridor. You are taken aback when you raise your eyes and all up and down the hall are your peers, holding hands and holding signs that read “You are loved”.
You think: If only this had happened six months ago before five students took their own lives. If only it had happened a week ago before one…
Words can’t really describe the emotions, confusion, and weight that set in with this most recent suicide. Unfortunately, it is such a regular occurrence at such high caliber institutions that we who are there and busy with the whirlwind of academia almost become numb to them.
However, with this most recent being an undergrad who knew some of the Christian students, a small army decided to actively fight against “just moving on” through a Love Campaign rooted in the radical love of Christ. In organically spawned prayer meetings, students are now petitioning God and interceding for their campus that not one more student at MIT would ever take his or her own life.
Love Like a Hurricane
You don’t really understand what this is about, but the line opens up to let you in. You join hands with two students you don’t know, but are instantly connected to. You stand in silence, wondering if you should even offer up a prayer in case there is a god that hears you. Then the line begins to condense into one lobby.
Amidst much hugging, a girl’s voice softly begins to sing: “He is jealous for me. Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree, bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy…”
By the time she reaches the chorus “Oh, how He loves us Oh” the entire lobby has joined in this mysterious song. You pick up a paper on the floor as you turn back towards your classroom, the words of love ringing loudly in your ears, and read:
In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us. -Romans 8:37
When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears them and delivers them out of all of their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. -Psalm 34:17-18
Love Out Loud
This “love campaign” became a grassroots daily challenge to love the campus. In addition, each day for the next week, men and women from a united prayer movement called Unite Boston, came to campus to pray with the students. My prayer is that through this, followers of Christ would begin to be known for our love. That if we as a body are stereotyped for anything it would be that we “come eating and drinking, a friend of sinners”.
Kelsey is a second year intern with Cru campus ministry in Boston, working mainly at MIT. This year she will be trailblazing a new internship in the northeast called Freedom58, a partnership between Cru and International Justice Mission, to bring Biblical Justice into Christian conversation at universities.