This is our final interview with Chris Heuertz (his Facebook and Twitter) on his new, vulnerable book, Unexpected Gifts. In case you missed them, check out Part 1 (my overview of the book), Part 2 (the beginning lessons of living with Mother Teresa), Part 3 (on working with mutilated childhood soldiers in the Sierra Leone civil war), Part 4 (on the importance of contemplative spirituality to sustain good work over the long haul), and Part 5 (on how to love within diverse communities).
Andrew: What is your hope for the world? What is your hope for the Christian faith?
Chris: “OMG! What kind of question is this? Are you kidding me?
Andrew: No seriously, what are your answers.
If you’re gonna make me answer this then I’ll say my hope is that we would all allow ourselves to discover the gifts of friendships that help facilitate deep and profound awakenings towards our true selves. That together, in community, there would be an illumination of our individual AND collective identity grounded in the hope that we are actually made in the image AND likeness of God—that each and every single one of us (regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, faith tradition…) would know and live beautifully into the possibility that we reflect the divine.”
Andrew: What do you do for fun? And whatever you do, don’t say “pray.”
Chris: “Clearly I don’t pray for fun.
I love eating amazing food, food that reflects thoughtful care and attention to the culinary art of creating something beautiful.
I love chasing down new music and mixing playlists that become the soundtrack to my life.
I love reading sad, tragically sad, novels.
I love traveling and interacting with people who are completely different than me—learning that the ways I think is only one set of lenses that folks who’ve been nationally, culturally or religiously socialized interpret their/our reality—which leads to new kinds of personal conversions.
I love opening amazing bottles of wine in my library (I should be ashamed to confess this, but I own more than 4,000 paper books) with good friends, talking late into the wee hours of the morning.
I love going to, and watching college football. Go Cornhuskers!
I love organizing a very intense, yearly competitive reading group, with some of my close friends. I would also like to note for your blog’s readers Andrew, that I have beaten you every year since our group’s inception.”
Andrew: I am acutely aware of that fact Chris. Thanks for pointing it out.
(while smiling and now laughing, Chris says): “I like having fun. It’s just hard to behave ;)”
Andrew: Amen! Thanks for taking all of this time to sit down and let me prod you for more information about you, your work and your book. Seriously Chris, you’ve written an amazing book that I genuinely hope everyone reads. Thanks brother.