Humans of Redeemer

Elise Arsenault | Reporter

In 2010, a man by the name of Brandon Stanton began a photography project in New York City that would grow to become a #1 New York Times bestseller and photoblog boasting over 15 million followers worldwide.

  Initially, Stanton set out to create what he calls an exhaustive catalogue of New York Citys inhabitants, comprised of 10,000 photos plotted across a city map. The task took on a different form, however, as he began collecting pieces of conversation he had with those he photographed. Photo captions would soon become as vital as the shots themselves, and, together, make for a captivating stream of stories he entitles Humans of New York.

This year, the Crown seeks to mimic Stantons idea on campus by asking thoughtful questions and printing candid photos of students, staff, and faculty in each issue.

 We know that stories are powerful, so the goal here is to further uncover our own. Scripture tells us to rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn, share the word of our testimony, and give glory to God in every season. This column is simply another means to do so, and to remind ourselves that King Jesus is the ultimate author and finisher of our faith.

What was the most unexpected thing that ever happened to you?

“The car accident that I had. I shouldnt be alive. I broke three vertebrae on the top of my neck.

 “Its been, God, eleven years now? My dog was a year and a half when I got him. I trained him; I didnt get him from the service. He was an insane dog! They were going to put him down because he was so aggressive. Now hell carry stuff for me, he knows how to get my medication, a bottle of water If I fall, he knows to get the phone. Right now were working on how to clear a room.

I intimately witnessed the birth of my daughter. It was unexpected because we were actually planning our visit to the hospital and my wife told me about the imminent delivery.

When I was twelve, I had four living siblings. And then, all of a sudden, I only had three.

 “My brother was killed in a car accident on his way home from his last exam at school. One of my biggest regrets was not expressing in that last week how much I loved him.

 “The unexpectedness of it shook me up. It made me realize that when life is that fragile and eternity is so close, youre either for Jesus or youre not. Youre either going to be with Him, or youre not. And if Jesus is in my life, then why am I not giving everything to him? Or telling everyone about this joy that Ive found?


Getting the call that I got nominated. I got to do Kiwanis Provincials its a big music competition, and I was nominated to do musical theatre. I had to get a really nice outfit, and perform in front of judges alongside the top 27 musical theatre singers of my age in Ontario. It was amazing!


When I lost a resident. I was a don at a previous university, and one of my students decided to take his own life I walked in on him. So that was extremely depressing.

 “You never think that it could happen to someone close to you. Its become something that I still want to protect life, I mean. Especially with students in university now, it kind of goes under the radar.


Coming to Redeemer! I mean, I played basketball here in the summer time, all the time. Then I went to Brock, and things didnt really work out so I came here. It was totally unexpected. Im in my third year now its been a good thing.


Finding out my friend went missing. They didnt know where he was so they were combing the forest. He had gone swimming, so they were combing the waters, too. We didnt know if he was alive or dead, so we started a prayer-chain via texting.

The most unexpected thing was the complete switch from just hanging out watching some TV-show reruns, to getting the call. About 45 minutes later we found out they had found his body. It was crazy, it was about a month before his 16th birthday. Unexpected heart failure…”

I didnt expect my youngest child to make a less than 24-hour recovery while on her death-bed. She was six months old. God is awesome!

     My sister got stung by two bees!

     Can you jump on one foot? I can.

     Going to the circus.

     Realizing that people say 'pardon' here. We say 'huh?'

     That Im a Catholic. Wait, no, Im not a Catholic.