Dinner with Eugene Peterson

Last night I had the opportunity to sit, chat  and eat dinner with Eugene Peterson and his wife, Jan. Yes, the Eugene Peterson who wrote “The Message” translation of the Bible. Dave and I were invited through connections with Regent College. The couple who were hosting the evening are involved with Regent College here in the United States. There were 11 people, yep, that was it. I was the youngest, which felt kind of strange for me and I was actually kind of nervous some of the time. Dave was out of town with Off The Map.  The dinner was held at this couples home in Seattle and for the first hour I  socialized with some of the staff and board members from Regent College, along with chit-chatting with Eugene and his wife – ok, chit-chatting sounds a little funny, but that’s what it was. I asked them about their children and grandchildren, their life in Montana (which is where they now live), we also chatted about “The Message” and its significance in my life. They asked me about my kids, we chatted about Mars Hill Graduate School and I shared with them about Off The Map as they were both interested in how to “normalize evangelism for ordinary people.” A number of the people there know my in-laws, Dave’s parents, through their history with Regent College. We sat down with dinner on our laps in this couples living room, chatted some more about all kinds of topics: Bono, Bill Gates, marriage, women in leadership. I was asked in front of the group as to where Dave was and what was he up to? They all wanted to hear about Off The Map. That was interesting, sitting there, everyone looking at me and listening (including Eugene and Jan) as I attempted to gather language in my head and briefly explain Off the Map. It seemed a little surreal to me. It was a good experience. Eugene then shared for an hour about his experience in writing “The Message”. He is a wonderful story teller, teacher and very humorous man. He has this kind of scratchy, quiet voice and when he would pause to think about what he was going to share next he would take both of his hands and with both index fingers stroke the edge of his goatee – for some reason this struck me. He has very kind eyes and when he smiles and laughs his eyes scrunch up into slits. He shared all kinds of thoughts and stories. His primary purpose in writing “The Message” was to help ordinary people integrate God into their lives, instead of compartmentalizing their reading of the Bible into some other segment of life. His desire was and is that people would integrate their reading and understanding of the Bible into all aspects of their daily lives. That people would know that  God is present in all of their daily living activities of coming and going and doing life. He shared some fun grandchildren stories around this, along with funny emails and phone calls and letters. It was a really wonderful experience. I am thankful and grateful. There were some other slightly embarrasing moments for me in regard to feeling like I put my foot in my mouth but oh well, such is life.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Jen says:

    >This sounds amazing!!! I definitely have to hear about the embarassing moments. 🙂

  2. >Geez, Sharon! I hope that was not a once in a lifetime experience but it may well have been. How utterly wonderful and awesome! I’m sure you handled yourself with grace….but, I can hardly wait to hear the faux pas committed. We all do that kind of thing…I wish you could have tape recorded the evening!lisa

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