What are you doing, and how did you end up doing it?
I am sitting on a sofa in a darling flat in St Andrews, Scotland. I ended up doing this by first eating some couscous with vegetables then having a cup of Earl Grey—such a happily full stomach compelled me to assume this lounged position.
On a more practical note (and probably the line of thought my readers had expected), I am a young writer who works part time copyediting for a construction company and part time writing a book. I came to love copyediting (all the fine-tuning, grammar-nerd variety of edits) over many years of grammar and language classes. By the time I took an introduction to linguistics course at university, I was already head over heels in love with etymologies and sentence diagramming, and I deeply hoped I would be able to find a way to dedicate much of my life to working with words. And, well, here I am. (“Here,” by the by, changes frequently in terms of my geographical location.)
What’s your biggest passion for the church?
If Sunday is typically considered our day of rest as Christians, and if our day of rest involves worshiping and learning together, then what could/should our days of not-rest look like? I think the “resting” church is a lovely thing, but I am especially excited when the church serves as the body of Christ during the non-resting bits of our week. When I see Christians working hard to worship and serve outside of official church gatherings (being the “living sacrifices” Paul talks about in Romans 12). Things like Bible studies, yes; but also the seemingly mundane: having meals together, enjoying nature together, asking church members how they are doing outside of the context of a church building, taking care of our communities, the like. My (current) biggest passion for the church, then, is for Christians to consent to and celebrate the opportunity to move and breathe and eat and sleep with the knowledge that we truly are the body of Christ.
What excites you about Jesus?
That he let John lean up against him during Passover. That image (found in John 13) makes me overwhelmed with a softness towards Jesus, and with a desire to see him and be with him. To know our Lord (the one we are eternally indebted to and the one whom we serve as our master) does not treat us as unworthy debtors, but as friends, siblings even, who can be near.
Who has most shaped your spirituality/discipleship journey?
Yes, I will include an answer beyond the trite (yet true) response of “Jesus.” But, as he is the center of my spiritual journey, he most certainly has the status of most-impactful. And hooray for that.
Now, out of the living and non-deity folk, I think it is my darling father who has most shaped my discipleship journey (though it is hard to know for certain, especially when I consider how there must be many influencers that have shaped me without my realizing it). Dad will send me lengthy messages of the way the sun and wind interact with his garden, the way the older men in the Tuesday morning Bible study say the darnedest things, and how he is encouraged by the Word to keep trusting and serving God.
Out of the dead folk, probably George MacDonald has most shaped my thinking and experience of life. His book Lilith slid soothingly into my mind and into my spirit and has helped stir a longing for the richness of spiritual living. And, panning out from the content of his books, MacDonald’s writing proves to me that words are not simply entertainment to engage a reader’s mind, but they can be provoking, wholesome, dazzling messages and stories that engage a reader’s soul.