We drove 1,100 miles Sunday. Monday, Jonalyn joined three other ladies (Jeanne Stevens, Margaret Feinberg, Sarah Cunningham) for her the start of her six-hour seminar. Her seminar on women and the church: Three hours Monday night and then three hours Tuesday morning. I was a participant in the audience. Lunch. Then ramping up into the seminar on soul differences, Jonalyn and I did together.
We are only one part of several dozen seminar leaders. Yet, Zondervan noted us in their blog update on the NPC. We're honored. And you can listen to our seminar streamed on their website. More here.
Now that our seminars are finished, we can focus on soaking other aspects of the convention. Today we heard a thought-provoking interview exchange between Chuck Colson, Greg Boyd, and Shane Claiborn. I also attended a Bible study by Gordon Fee and then a seminar on Bible translation.
We attended an author dinner last night. I sat beside Tom Dean, who has overseen the Bible Experience project the last 18 months. We talked about life and faith for the whole dinner, including his work with the TNIV.
We're also meeting other authors we've read and heard about, people you would likely recognize. It's amazing to be included with such company.
Approaching well known leaders is always a dubious affair. You never know how they will receive you, perceive you, welcome you. I could name a few people for you (that you would know) who were not very warm, friendly, nor receiving. I've been disappointed and puzzled. But I have approached a couple of people in the last day who were great listeners, heard my appreciation, were interested in what I had to say.
One was John Townsend... who was with Henry Cloud. I'd met Henry before and reintroduced myself. Great guy. Townsend was the same. Yesterday evening, I overhead him walking behind me, so I stopped, introduced myself, expressed appreciation for his work on having a healthy soul and healthy relationships. He was very warm to me and even asked me questions about myself.
The other was Gordon Fee. While others were pressing in for an autograph, I waited my turn to share my appreciation as a fan, not only of his work on understanding scripture, but his theological work on the equality of women. He warmly listened and expressed sincere reception of my appreciation. A knowing looking, a warm handshake... sometimes that's all you need to feel heard.
Moments like that, connecting gratitude to various members of the body who serve at a distance... that's the stuff that sits with me in times when I wonder why I do what I do and whether it is worth it. It's carrying legacy, shining lights, in the company of friends.