Remembering Eugene Peterson, and also his wife Jan

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by Karen Stiller

Years ago, my husband Brent and I moved to Vancouver so he could do a Master of Divinity at Regent College. I consider I can say, despite the fact that other people may disagree, that it was a heyday for Regent. No other Canadian college totally lived out the concept however of graduate theological education for the lay particular person in very the similar way. The student physique was fascinating and diverse, from all more than the planet. But it was the faculty line up that was definitely all-star. J.I.Packer was there, Bruce Waltke, Gordon Charge and then in 1993 Eugene Peterson joined the faculty.

Back then, there had been SOS groups, which stood for Spouses of Students, and back then, that meant mostly wives. And it also meant faculty wives who would go to a group to speak or provide help and encouragement. The evening Jan Peterson, Eugene’s wife visited the group I attended, was the evening I burst into tears from weariness and aggravation at however a different forced move from one particular low cost, flooded Vancouver basement into a different. I can inform you that Vancouver had a student housing crisis way back then also. We moved. A lot.

We had been often on the search for an inexpensive, dry and sooner or later, thank goodness, above-ground location to reside. That evening I had reached my peak of tolerance, and when we got to that sharing time exactly where you sit in a circle on the floor and share how you are, how you genuinely are, I flooded that area with my tears. I will often recall how sort Jan Peterson was. She patted my back and mentioned sort, comforting words. She hugged me and I felt the group’s like and compassion wash more than me in a lovely way, even as I felt a tiny bit silly.

I worked at the college then, so I would cross paths with Jan fairly typically immediately after that, and Eugene as properly of course. They had been so sort. Jan would often ask how I was and if we had been living on dry ground. I could really feel her warmth and concern. “I’m fine, I’m fine,” I’d say, a tiny embarrassed, but also touched that she remembered. Eugene Peterson often had time for everybody, and under no circumstances forgot the name of the employees who worked behind the scenes in the workplace. Some did, and it wasn’t genuinely a major deal. But he under no circumstances did, and that sort-of was.

Out of all the assignments my husband completed at his time at Regent, I recall only the one particular that Eugene Peterson assigned to him. I recall it since it was so moving for Brent to full. The assignment was to create about the “soil” out of which your prayer life grows — an assignment a poet-pastor may give.

A lot of pastors have mentioned they would not be the minister they are currently with no Eugene’s instance. I think that is correct. I consider my husband would say the similar. And I’m also specific there are a lot of minister’s wives who discovered from the instance of Jan Peterson. I know I did.

May perhaps Eugene Peterson rest in peace and rise in glory, and may well Jan be comforted with the comfort and warmth I am specific she presented to so a lot of more than the years.

Karen Stiller is a senior editor of Faith Right now, and a minister’s wife.

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