If you follow me on social media, you’ll know that I was recently invited to speak at Belmont Chapel, Exeter. I said, ‘Sorry, I’m housebound’; they said, ‘Then we’ll come to you.’ So the church brought a camera to my house, an hour away from their church, and asked me lots of questions about my experience and theology. They played this 38 minute video interview to 200 people gathered there, and then I did a live Q&A session for them via the wonder of the telephone (I opted for low-tech so that nothing would go wrong – and we still had a slight glitch on the night! Ah, technology…)
The Exeter crowd were very kind to me, and I was so impressed at the commitment that this one church has to accessibility, and the ways that they loved me well in getting me to speak there. AND… (drum roll) – now you can watch it too!
It’s a long video, so I’ve put a little guide to the topics below, so you can skip ahead to the relevant parts.
AND look out later this week for the 250 minute audio recording of the Q&A session (which I’ve also transcribed for those who can’t listen to audio).
A favour to ask: 1) lying on a sofa is NOT a flattering angle. 2) Last-minute, I put on extra blusher in a hurry because I’m normally washed out by camera lights. This time, the camera guy knew what he was doing, and you can see very clearly my blusher which looks like a partially-trained monkey has applied it. So – just imagine me looking more glamorous as I say all the things! Thank you!
Without further ado – here is the video on vimeo.
Interview at Belmont Chapel – highlights:
0:00-3:45 Introductory remarks, reflecting on sense of calling
03:45-5:45 How did your comfortable life get turned upside down?
5:45 -8:45 What is ME? What do doctors think? Is it even a real illness?
8:45-10:00 What is the prognosis for those with ME? What’s your prognosis?
10:00-11:37 What was the hardest point of your ME story?
“How can I look after a baby when I’m like a baby myself?”
11:37-13:36 How do you keep believing in God when He’s silent in your suffering?
“There is a narrative that when the worst happens God will be the most close to you”
13:36-14:40 Were you ever tempted to lose your faith?
“If it’s good enough for Job, it’s good enough for me!”
14:40-16:38 How did Job help you?
16:38-18:00 Are you still mad at God?
18:10-19:10 What good does it do to have God in your life?
19:10-22:05 Is God good – when there is so much suffering?
“if this life is all there is, how is there justice in this world?”
“we all feel that pull to eternity”
22:05-23:30 What do you say to those who say, “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life”?
23:30-27:02 What does God’s calling look like for you now?
27:02-29:00 Why did you start blogging?
29:00-30:24 Why ‘Thorns and Gold’?
“It’s so important that we know a suffering God”
30:24-34:08 How do other people react to your disability?
34:08-35:44 What would you say to Christians who are going through a time of suffering?
35:44-38:50 What would you say to someone who doesn’t believe, who just sees a random world where bad things happen?
“God also brings gold”
That link to the video again – the video on vimeo.
Thanks so much for watching – let me know what you think!
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