Name: Michael Wenham
Where you live: Wantage, near Oxford, UK
What you do as a vocation or avocation? My vocation is to be a limping follower of Jesus Christ; my avocation is writing.
Your two favorite books: (Excluding the Bible and Shakespeare, as they say on the UK’s radio programme, Desert Island Discs)
they’d have to be Jane Austen’s Collected works
(and if pushed Persuasion
) and Evelyn Waugh’s Sword of Honour trilogy
Your two favorite songs: Dove sono from Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro, and Et in terra pax from Vivaldi’s Gloria RV589 – and for light listening I Hope you Dance Lee Ann Womack
Why you are interested in spirituality? I’m not sure I’d quite put it like that! Having ALS (or Motor Neurone Disease) has been an interesting test case for me. Would it disprove the existence of God? That’s not been my experience. In fact faith has made more sense and paradoxically more mystery. I have found more richness in life and more depth in friendships. Life seems to be infinitely precious and love infinitely powerful. How can that be if we are just machines, or the products of mere chance? My convictions were first intellectual. Then I had an experience of the Holy Spirit. And now I’m discovering the quiet companionship of Christ in hard times, and he hasn’t deserted me.
Your favorite quote:
Way out in front: ‘I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers,
nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (St Paul, Letter to Romans)
Followed in the 20th century by:
Your hero? Without doubt Jane, my wife who is quietly inspirational and keeps me alive.
A spiritual lesson you hope to learn? Not to pity myself.
A place in the world where you feel spiritually “connected?”
Christ Church, Exmouth, in the UK – an utterly unpretentious chapel where I sense a community of love.