Today’s guest is Ruth. Ruth and I met just after she came to Tasmania to be the head of Scripture Union here. We actually met on a Scripture Union camp, so I guess you could say that we have a camp relationship! It’s a wonderful ongoing friendship. Ruth has had an interesting life, and thought I would like to share some of her stories with you, so welcome Ruth!
Thank you very much.
So, start where we always start: how did you become a Christian?
Well, I became a Christian when I was 14. I know, I’m one of the people who knows exactly when it happened, but I can definitely detect the build up to it as well. So I was born into a Christian family, and we went to church regularly, and around the age of 12 a few things happened. I got fed up with church, but I was involved in my SU group at school – my Scripture Union group. The Gideons came to our school, and they gave everybody a little New Testament Bible, and I remember saying to the guy ‘I will treasure this.’ I mean, I now think that was a Holy Spirit thing. At the time, I just said it, and that was fine, but I kind of took it seriously because I felt I’d made a promise to this guy. So I read it intermittently, but certainly a bit, and then when I was 14, my SU group took me along to a meeting where the evangelist Luis Palau was speaking. I knew that people went forward at these things, but I didn’t really know what that was … I remember I wasn’t really listening to Luis Palau – sorry Luis – but I was wondering if my friend would ‘go forward’, whatever that was, and I had this sensation of God clearing his throat in my ear. That’s my recollection of it, that’s exactly what it was like. You know, somebody (throat clearing sound) somebody really trying to get your attention. And I realised, ‘Oh my goodness. Oh, you’re real!’ ‘Cause I had this preamble where I had this idea who God might be, and actually some of my reading of the Bible was because I thought if there was a God, He’s bound to be impressed or happier if I read the Bible. So here He was, literally showing up and attracting my attention. And even then, I knew I had a choice: I could just pretend that hadn’t happened, or I could go, ‘Wow. The God of the universe, who did all these amazing things, is absolutely interested in me. Yeah, I’ll have that.’ So, that’s how I became a Christian.
Do you just want to tell everyone where you’re from? Just in case they haven’t guessed?
(laughs) Those who haven’t worked it out yet! I’m from Scotland. I was born and grew up in a big town called Paisley, next to Glasgow, in Scotland.
And she went to high school with David Tennant!
I went to the same high school that David Tennant went to. (laughs)
Alright, so from 14 you decided to be a scientist?
Ha, yes. Well, I was a struggler at school. I’m from a quite academic family, but I appeared to be a bit different from them, a bit more limited intellectually, which is hilarious now, but anyway. I’m very like them now, there was just a bit of catching up to do.
Because you were the youngest, I guess?
Well, the youngest but also very premature. I was about 6 weeks premature, which back in those days that was a lot. So I suspect that that was that aspect of catching up. Although one of my nephews has had a similar pattern to his life, and he wasn’t premature, so anyway. Who knows. I was a struggler at school, but I went to Iceland when I was 14, just after I’d become a Christian – there’s a picture of me reading my Bible in Iceland, when I was there – and I just fell in love with volcanoes. Just thought, ‘Wow, volcanoes! They are so amazing! I have got to go to university and find out more.’ And there’s an extent to which I didn’t know that there was an alternative to going to university. My family would probably have been starting to suggest that maybe there were alternatives, but having come back and said, ‘Right, well, I’ll have to go to university and study volcanoes’ they just said, ‘Oh, right, okay.’ And I gathered enough qualifications to do that, and off I went.
Did you study volcanoes for a while after uni, or did you go straight into…
No, so I’ve got an Honours degree in Geology – which is what everybody does in the UK, here Honours seems to be the exception, over there it’s completely the norm.
So you’re totally qualified to lick rocks now.
(laughs) Well, indeed. Certainly get my nose on them, as many a lecturer shouted at us: ‘Get your nose on those rocks!’ I don’t think I licked any of them to be honest with you, but there you go. So I did that, four years of doing that, and then I thought ‘Okay, what am I going to do next?’ I had a place on an MSE at a very prestigious mining school, and I remember asking them what the likelihood of getting a job coming out of this was, and especially as a female, and they just laughed, and they said, ‘Everybody gets a job coming out of our course, even the ones who don’t pass the course.’ (laughs) I was like, ‘Ooh, OK.’ However, I then said to them, ‘Could I defer that for a year?’ I’d gone to university at 17, and it’s a four year degree but still I was fairly young and I’d never stopped to really think and consider. And they said, ‘Yeah, no problem, you can defer for a year,’ so I thought, ‘OK … what’ll I do?’ So I kind of looked around for a number of things. I was doing various kind of mission activities over summer, as I’d done each summer of university, and then it got to the end of summer and I thought ‘Ooh, blimey, I’m not going back to university. Better get a job.’ So I was looking around for a job, and I actually got offered three jobs in one week. After a little bit of searching, not too long. And one of them was to be a chalet girl in the alps, which I love skiing and that was very tempting. And another was to do market research on British Rail –
I know! The interviewer seemed very impressed by my encyclopaedic knowledge of the trains between Glasgow and Aberdeen – I’d studied at Aberdeen. And the third one was to go to a residential school in the south of England and look after intellectually disabled epileptic teenagers.
So, the reason I didn’t go and do the chaleting was I thought, ‘If I go and do that, I’ll come back in the spring and I’ll be no further forward with my thinking about what I’d actually like to do with my life.’ Whereas I thought, ‘Ooh, maybe there would be some sort of opportunity to look at therapy in action,’ and I suppose I’d thought I was quite an active outdoors person, I thought I might be a physiotherapist or something like that, if I didn’t pursue the geology. Anyway, so basically I went and worked with special needs kids.
And how did that change your thinking about the future?
(laughs) Well. There were two things I was – and I use this word hesitantly – two things I was ‘never’ going to do, when I was coming out of university. And I have pretty much stopped using the word ‘never’, because it’s a very dangerous word. I recommend people not to use it. One of the things I said I’d never do is work in a bank, which so far I have not done, and I have no ambition to do so. But you have!
(laughs) I have.
The other was that I would never be a teacher. And the reason that I didn’t want to be a teacher was that I didn’t think I had enough patience to be a teacher.
Indeed. I worked with a group of young people who would have tried the patience of, well, a saint, in the broadest sense of the word. And so it was this opportunity for God to say, ‘You know, you could do this.’ And in actual fact to recognise I knew all a long that I am a teacher. You know, it doesn’t matter if I work in a school or not, that’s one of my primary giftings. I knew that when I was patrolling during the Guides.
I used to teach my recruits, and make their entry into Guides much easier because I could teach them. So in fact, after a year of working with these special needs kids I thought, ‘Okay, I give in Lord, I’ll go to teachers’ college, and I’ll use my science to teach people.’ But I was too late to apply to start that year, so I had another year to use, and instead of staying where I was I actually went to work for a church in London. And again, that was another rich part of the experience of developing who I was, and how I could serve God.
So it sounds very much to me like both missions and teaching have been in there inside of you, and coming out at every opportunity.
(laughs) Yes, since you put it like that. Yes, that’s true.
So obviously you went to teachers’ college, you became a teacher – I remember you saying you were teaching in London, were you?
Yeah, that’s right. My first temporary teaching job – which could have been permanent, but – was on an island off the west coast of Scotland with two and four children in each of my certificate classes. So I thought, ‘No, if I stay there I will never teach in the real world.’ I had already landed a job in London, so I went down and taught there.
We’ve talked a bit about your philosophy of being a faith-filled person in a teaching situation – would you like to talk about that?
Well, yes, I guess – when you’re teaching in the state system you’re somewhat limited in what you can do. You’re not there to proselytise – but if you are a Christian then I would hope that that kind of shows. I think most of the people in school – both staff and pupils – would have known that I was a Christian, but I wasn’t actively involved in anything Christian in the school. But when I left, my leaving speech was completely the gospel, straight down the line. Like saying, ‘I know you think that I think that photosynthesis makes the world go round, but actually.’ Because I was actually teaching biology, just to be fair. There’s not a lot of photosynthesis in geology as such. But I taught a lot of biology and some other science as well.
Yeah, that’s the fun thing: you train to teach one thing, you teach whatever they need you to teach at the time.
Could we have a quick run-down of the journey between teaching and Scripture Union?
Sure! So there was teaching in London for four years, and going back to that same church and being really involved in that, and just having fabulous holidays and literally I would leave on the last day of term, I’d be heading out of town with my baggage going wherever I was going, doing whatever I was doing. And it got very tiring. I really exhausted myself trying to live my life 100% of my life in all three areas. So I suppose I got slightly burned out, but also thinking, ‘I’m sure I could do something more fun than this teaching. What do I like about teaching? Well, I love it when the lightbulb comes on above their heads. I love helping people understand things they didn’t understand before. I love the geology field trip, I love the biology field trip, I love the geography field trip, I love the school ski trip –‘ (laughs) ‘Ooh. Is it a pattern here? What don’t I like about teaching? Well, I loathe marking with a vengeance, I just hate it so much, and I hate my life being ruled by a bell, and I hate that I’m indoors most of the time, and I hate that I can’t share my faith as openly as I would like to.’
So I thought, ‘Hmm, maybe I’d like to work with kids in the outdoors. Maybe that would be the thing.’ And so I – we don’t have time to go into it, but I had a connection with somebody in a summer camp in Canada, a Christian summer camp, and she’d said to me, ‘Oh, come anytime, I’ll give you a job.’ So I basically said, ‘Can I come?’ And they said, ‘Yeah, sure.’ So I went over to this summer camp, and I worked there doing – well, actually what happened … I didn’t really have any of the technical skills that they were after. They did swimming, and hiking, and archery. I’d done a little bit of archery so they said, ‘Oh good, you can do the archery stuff.’ Well, it turned out that my teaching ability – I could transfer that to the young staff who knew how to do archery, and then they could teach archery much better. And this was so obvious that I was –
You were training the trainers.
Yes. I was immediately asked if I could do that to other trainers doing other things as well, and I said, ‘Well, I think so.’ And so I only had a group of kids for a fortnight, and then I got moved to Staff Hill and I was training the trainers, and it was a bit crazy. Anyway, it was all good fun. But more importantly than any of that really was that I met this lovely New Zealander there, this girl Gladys Erskine – Gladys Mackie as she now is – and she said, ‘Oh, Scotland! I love Scotland. I used to work for –‘ and it was a Christian organisation in Scotland called The Abernethy Trust. And I knew about them, and I’d been on one of their courses, and I said, ‘Oh, I’d love to work for them.’ And her actual words were, ‘Well, why don’t you ask them for a job? They’ll give you one.’ (laughs) So, I thought, ‘Well, okay, maybe. I still don’t have any qualifications as such that might help them.’ I chatted with my dad, who’s a wise man, and he said, ‘Well, why don’t you reconnect with Abernethy?’ So I went to their New Year house party with a friend, and I had filled in an application for them but I hadn’t submitted it. So I got chatting with the chief exec, as you do, and he said, ‘Oh, would you like to work for the Canadians?’ He knew about my connection, they’ve got kind of a staff exchange going on. And I said, ‘Well…’ and I knew it was a bit yuck, but I said, ‘I’d rather work for you.’ He was like, ‘Oh, you should fill in an application form,’ and I’m like, ‘Well, here’s one I prepared earlier.’ Anyway, upshot was I got a job working in their Arran centre. So Arran is an island on the west coast of Scotland, a bit bigger than the previous island I’d been on. And so I worked for them for four years. And it was great, I loved it, and became a senior instructor there, and again felt a lot of the impact of my work and who I was was working with the staff that we had, young staff, and encouraging them, giving them confidence, so that was great. But then I damaged my knee really badly, twice. I won’t go into the details, but basically after the second one I needed a reconstruction, which meant I had to keep off rough ground for a year. And obviously being on rough ground was kind of my job. So I was immediately – it’s interesting to reflect, this is kind of how I was with God in those days – I was immediately flared up, cross with God about what was He playing at.
What possible good could come out of this?
(laughs) Exactly. But then I kind of simmered down and I thought, ‘At least a year is a reasonable amount of time. I could do something with a year.’ And so I thought, ‘Well, what’s kind of missing from my CV?’ And I thought, ‘Well, I don’t have any kind of business knowledge, or certainly not any kind of academic study,’ so I actually was able to go to University and study for an MBA, a Masters in Business Administration.
And halfway through that, I guess, just praying about this and thinking, ‘If I go back to being an outdoor instructor with this qualification, this degree will turn out to be the world’s most expensive occupational therapy.’ And so I told the Trust that I wasn’t coming back to that job, and they were sympathetic, and that’s how it was so that’s fine. And I finished off my degree, which was an amazing experience because there was people there in that course from about 40 different countries, and I remember there was a group of guys from the Arab world who actually said to me, ‘We’ve never met a Christian who can express what they believe before!’ (laughs). Yep. So anyway, that was a lot of good opportunities too.
So finished up with that, and then said, ‘Okay Lord, here I am. I’ve got a teaching qualification, I’ve worked with special needs kids, I’ve worked in the outdoors, I’ve recovered from a knee injury, I’ve got this MBA … how can I serve You?’ And there was basically deafening silence for quite a while. A few months, certainly. And I had no money left, and I was fortunately living in a flat that belonged to my parents, so I had a roof over my head but there was no money. And I didn’t want to kind of go on the dole, claim benefits, so I had a little part-time job in a bookshop, just to have some pocket money. And I was just searching and looking for the right job, and praying and saying, ‘God? How can I help you?’
And I had a group of teenagers who were meeting in my flat for Bible study each week, which was organised by a friend of mine who worked for SU Scotland. So one night her boss came around, and said to me, ‘So, who are you? What do you do?’ I said, ‘Well, I’m Ruth, I’m looking for a job actually,’ and she said, ‘Oh, why haven’t you applied for this job?’ (This is how I used to behave when I was the head of SU, you’re always on the scout for staff.) So this was a job which was just like my friend’s job, but was in an adjacent geographical area. I said, ‘Oh, well, I’m not sure it’s the right job for me, because obviously I like young people, here they are in my house and learning the Bible and all that, but actually I think my main focus is more on interacting with adults and helping them.’ She said, ‘No no, that’s what this job is about, it’s about helping people work better with young people. I think you’d be brilliant at it.’ I mean, SU was obviously really important to me, they were a part of my faith journey, and I value the organisation and here’s one of their senior staff telling me to apply for a job and I’ve got nothing in the pipeline, and I’ve been praying for months for some opportunity. So, what’s a girl to do?
So I applied for the job and they interviewed me, and they offered me the job, and with as much conviction as I believed God was present with me when I became a Christian, I believe God said, ‘No, you’re not to take that job.’
So, yeah. So I find myself phoning her up and saying, ‘Thank you, I really love SU, but actually I’m really sure this is not the job for me.’ I think she usually gets the opposite of people phoning her up and saying, ‘Why didn’t I get the job? God told me I would get the job!’ Anyway, so. She said, ‘Well, that’s very disappointing, but that’s life.’
Then about – I don’t know, 10 days later? 8, 10 days later? – her opposite number in the camping and holidays section of SU Scotland phoned me up and said, ‘I’ve got this other job.’ And this other job – they were looking for someone who had a teaching qualification or background, ideally somebody who knew a bit about the outdoor industry in Scotland, if they’d worked with special needs that would be excellent, if they could bring some kind of business and marketing knowledge to the thing, that would be really helpful … (laughs) Pretty much had, ‘Ruth Pinkerton, please apply.’ And so it was like, ‘Oh, that’s why I had to say no.’ Because that job hadn’t actually been quite formulated yet, and there it was, and that was absolutely the job for me.
So I did that for seven years, and then I was sort of headhunted in the SU sphere for the job I came out to do in Tasmania. So that was a long time, that was a long story to get here.
No no, it’s good. I think it’s obvious to me – if you tell somebody, ‘Ruth came from Scotland to serve as the head of SU down here in Tasmania,’ people would say, ‘Why Tasmania?’ But from your life story, it’s like you’re just that kind of person. ‘Let’s try Tasmania.’
Yeah! And I was a contentedly single person as well, so that made that decision so much easier. You know, if I was married, obviously my spouse would have had to found a job here or got a visa or … it just would have been so much more complicated. I mean, it wasn’t a small decision, but it was definitely a good one.
So if somebody’s listening, and they’re sort of feeling like they’re at the beginning of the journey, what sort of advice do you have for them?
Ooh. I can remember wishing – I sometimes still do – that maybe when you became a Christian, God should just put a nose ring through your nose so he could lead you more easily. (laughs)
But I would say that you just have to pay attention to who you are, and who God is. And actually there are a number of paths in life, I believe. I don’t think if you’ve done something that you then think, ‘Maybe I should have done something else,’ that’s not disaster, that’s not the end, there are a number of options. I could have stuck with the science option, I could have done a number of things. I’m thrilled with what I have decided to do, and been able to do. I think if you are making decisions in good conscience with God, you can’t really go wrong. And he totally forgives you if you turn out to not have been in good conscience with him.
So do you have a couple of stories from your time here with SU?
Ah, sure! It’s just been brilliant to come here and do this, and I’ve met so many amazing people, not least yourself, Ruth. That camp was great.
For me it was largely great because I got to know you!
I got such a good friend out of it.
I have to say it’s the same for me, because I don’t go on camps anymore because it’s not part of who I am, so I’m very glad I was on that one!
Yes. Camps are really important. We call them a temporary Christian community. So I have loved being part of seeing SU camping grow in Tasmania – we run about twice as many camps as we used to do. So that’s very exciting. I love when people get to know God. I love hearing children pray for the first time, that’s just amazing. But also, again for me a lot of the time I’ve been the camp leader, I’m the director, so my main focus has actually been on the team. I’ve loved just to have that sense of being able to inspire and give confidence and lead people, but sometimes you don’t do that well.
I remember one time we were about to run a primary camp, and I was directing it at short notice, so I didn’t know the team, but the team leader had – for a very reasonable reason – hadn’t suddenly been able to do it. So I was in there leading. We were there the night before, the weather was absolutely shocking, and I’m meeting this team pretty much for the first time. And I say to one of the guys, ‘Oh, will you say grace before our evening meal?’ And the look on his face – I mean, rabbit in the headlights was not in it. He looked terrified, and I thought, ‘Oh dear.’ And I’d been happy to extract him from that, I hadn’t in any way wished him to feel awkward. I watched him kind of gird himself, and say, ‘I can do this.’ Then he prayed out loud, just a grace, a thankfulness for our food. He then told me, ‘I’ve never prayed out loud before.’
And not only was that an amazing experience for him, but he really hasn’t stopped since. I had an experience of that when I was 15 at school: the first time I prayed out loud, and that sense of release, and now you can do it kind of any time, anywhere.
He was just thrown off the cliff and found out he could fly.
(laughs) Exactly. I don’t normally go round throwing people off cliffs! Anyway, that was a great moment.
And chaplaincy’s been really big during your time here too.
Yes, it has. It was one of those things. I came in 2007, so literally just before it was confirmed that I was coming, was when John Howard made the announcement that the government was going to be part funding chaplaincy. And I kind of thought, ‘Why didn’t you just tell me about that, God?’ I think I would still come, but anyway. I had been thinking, ‘I can do that SU Tas thing. The population is about a tenth the size of Scotland, SU Tas is about a tenth the size of SU Scotland, I can lead something that size, that scale.’ And then of course it just grew and grew so it was substantially larger than that. Because of the amount of chaplaincy we did. We had over a hundred chaplains at the peak. It was huge, and it’s just such a fabulous ministry. Again, getting alongside people.
We have to recognise that we live in a culture where there’s multigenerational ignorance of anything to do with Christianity. And so, how did they find out anything about Christians? Well, they meet this Christian who they decide is cool. Why did they decide that? Not because they actually are, but because they care about them. Because they’re there. And chaplaincy is a presence in school which is regular and ongoing, and that makes such a difference to people. So it’s been absolutely fantastic to be involved in that. And again, to support chaplains and to help them understand who they are and what their gifts are.
I remember doing some training which was for leading camps and leading missions, and there was a chaplain who was very nervously thinking that maybe she could do this, leading a mission. And we explored the idea of leadership and what it meant, and we talked about what the world understands to be leadership, and that sounded great, and then we looked at what leadership is described as in the Old Testament particularly, in relation to the kings and what they were meant to be. It was that lightbulb coming on moment, where she really understood what the spiritual difference in being a spiritual leader is. My goodness, her ministry has just gone from strength to strength. She leads that mission every year, but she also has a club that runs fortnightly throughout the year, and the kids absolutely love to come to that. And for so many children particularly, clubs at school or after school, or camps, they kind of are church for them. If they’ve got a family that’s got nothing to do with church, then the family doesn’t tend to – sometimes they do – but often they don’t start going to church just because the kid comes home and says, ‘Hey, I had this amazing experience’ that they can’t very well articulate. So she’s actually, in a sense, really ministering to those children, building up their faith and discipleship.
So you’re heading in a new direction now?
Well, it’s true.
Tell us a little bit about that.
Okay, yes. So it’s new in the sense that I’ve finished up with SU to do it, but actually I’ve realised on reflection it’s not particularly new. I think I’ve been involved in this for about seven years actually. For those that don’t know, I’m involved in conflict management.
And I did some training with a group called PeaceWise, and I really loved their basic training in conflict management. But I did more thinking about it, and I thought, ‘Ooh, I think I need to study this, find out more about it.’ So I looked around to see if there was the right course for me to do, and I went and did a masters in conflict management and resolution from James Cook University. So I finished that last year, so I’ve been doing that slowly part time, and of course I’ve been using my skills and assisting people.
I guess what I really noticed was how many people are stuck. They seem kind of paralysed by conflict that they’re either in, or they’re worried that they’ll be in. I also think, to be honest, that the church has not handled conflict very well. There’s been awful things said and done, people have been encouraged to put up with utter sinful behaviour on other people’s part, and told that they should graciously put up with it. For me, things about understanding conflict in a Christian context are that you should first of all seek to glorify God. And to put up with, for example, domestic violence, that is not glorifying to God. So that shouldn’t be happening and the church should never be encouraging people to do that. But yes, the church should be encouraging people to get their perspective right about conflict, and work out how we can glorify God.
And the next thing is how can you get the log out of your own eye? It’s really helpful to start by thinking ‘How have I contributed to this?’ Even if it’s 99.9% their fault, in your mind, what is that 0.05% that you’ve actually contributed yourself? That’s very helpful thinking.
And then thinking about, if you are going to go to somebody and, if you like, correct them, thinking about how you would do that, or how you would like to receive correction if it was coming in your direction. I think if we did a bit more thinking about that, that would be really helpful. So yes, you might want it done kind of privately, or you might want it done gently, or in fact you might not want everybody to do it, you might just want one person that you had a good relationship with to do it, or something like that.
And the other is that we should actually commit ourselves to ongoing relationships, to actually reconciling with each other where that’s possible, instead of just going, ‘Oh yes, well we forgave each other but of course we never talk to each other anymore.’
Yes, which people tend to think is the easier way to go.
And it is the easier way to go, to be fair. There’s a lot of effort involved in this. We actually do have to work out which relationships are worth the effort that it’s going to take to make them work.
So yes, that’s my new business! Amity CMR, which is conflict management resolution, and I train people, so I can do groups, training in groups, helping them to be more relaxed about conflict and see that it can be a good thing. I do coaching, where I work with one party in a conflict. So often people either have no idea how to approach it, or they say they won’t mediate, they won’t talk about it, they won’t whatever, and they think that they’re then stuck, so coaching can help them understand that that’s not necessarily the case, that they’ve got lots of options. And then the other is to actually get involved where conflict has already arisen, and often that’s where somebody who’s kind of nominally in charge of the situation and they’re just going, ‘I don’t know what to do!’ So they can call me. (https://www.amitycmr.com.au/)
Awesome. And we will put all that in the show notes. So we’re near the end now, but when do you feel close to God?
Now that is a very interesting question. I thought, ‘Oh yeah, there is that question.’ People are often asked that question. I don’t have a good answer, but now I do, so that’s good. Thanks for giving me a chance to reflect on that. I often hear people saying, ‘ooh, I feel close to God when I’m in the garden.’ When I’m in the garden I think, ‘Maybe purgatory’s real.’ (laughs) People say, ‘I feel close to God when I’m bushwalking.’ And I’m very pleased for both these groups of people, but when I’m bushwalking I’m busy thinking, ‘Ooh, a butterfly! Ooh, a view! Ooh, what kind of tree is that?’ So then I thought, ‘Gosh, what is the answer?’ And the answer is that actually there’s no one specific time or place that I feel close to God. I feel close to God when I’m engaging with Him, or He’s engaging with me, and that can happen anytime, and it can happen in good times, in bad times. Things can be very difficult and so I immediately turn to God and say, ‘Help!’ And then I can feel very close to Him, or things can be absolutely wonderful and marvellous and I can say, ‘Wow God, this is amazing,’ or He can speak to me through reading the Bible, or praying, or a sermon, or a song, or something. So there’s no specific answer to that, but it’s generally when I’m open to engaging with God, because he’s always open to engaging with me. And whenever I am, I feel close to Him.
And finally, what’s one thing about God or Christianity that you wish everyone knew?
I think this is a common answer, but it’s so true, that I want people to know that God loves them. And I just think sometimes Christians are bad at helping people understand that. God has loved us so deeply, so much, He can love us no matter what we’ve done, what kind of lives we’ve led, whether we’ve been obedient or not, He can still love us. I just want people to know that: He really loves you.
Awesome. Thank you vey much for sharing with us, Ruth.
You’re very welcome.