I was raised as an atheist and gradually turned toward the light through agnosticism and incipient belief until I was baptized as a Christian at the tender age of thirty-two. My spiritual journey has lacked a Damascus road moment but has been profoundly influenced by the severe brain injury our daughter Sarah suffered from viral encephalitis when she was almost six in 1988. Each member of our family has been strongly affected by that tragedy and one of its effects was to impel me to write a book that outlines our experience and explores biblical responses to suffering.
While the book is entitled The Odyssey: Love and Pain in God’s Pursuit, don’t call me Homer. Our story is not a Homeric epic. The title is a play on words: the odyssey is a homonym for theodicy (a justification of God’s goodness and sovereignty in light of the evil in the world). A theodicy is an intellectual response to the problem of evil and often can’t reach the depths of grief, anger, and sorrow that sufferers experience. In the fire, consolation from God and others is what sustains a sufferer on her odyssey.
I am retired following a career as a public finance lawyer in private practice with a large law firm and as finance counsel to Minnesota Housing, a state agency providing and financing affordable housing throughout Minnesota. Between those positions, I went back to school to become a high school math teacher. I ended that endeavor during student teaching when I learned that I don’t have the personality to manage today’s students, something that seems obvious now. In retirement, I have found tutoring students a rewarding activity and highly recommend it.