Hi, I'm Jon.
I started writing this bio in the third person (you know; “Jon is a wonderful, gifted and talented human... etc), but it seemed a little strange as I’m reasonably sure you all know that I would be writing it myself. So instead, let me simply say ‘Hello’.
Hello is an important word.
It’s a way of acknowledging each other’s presence and getting to know where we are, and who we are.
If you wanted to know a bit about me, I would tell you that I have a full life. I work in a field I find fulfilling; I continue to study and learn outside my comfort zone; I am surrounded by friends and family; and most importantly I have three beautiful children who fill my life with colour. I am originally from England, but now call Perth home.
I’m a Jesus-follower although I will admit to not quite knowing exactly what that means yet. Some people have said I'm not spiritual enough, some think I'm not biblical enough, in truth I'm just stumbling my way around faith. I love Jesus, and that the stories of Scripture have always both confounded and inspired me. What I do know is that despite all of the challenges that seem to be constantly on display, the story that lies at the heart of Christianity - the story of Jesus - has the power to bring life and liberation to every corner of existence.
If I’m being honest I hope I don’t figure it all out (as if that's even possible). I enjoy the journey and adventure of life too much to have all the answers. I do, however, have some thoughts, some questions, and some things to share – and this is where I do that. This is a place for us to embrace our questions together, a place for us to say hello to the natural curiosity we have about the deepest things of life. It's going to be a mix of humour and seriousness, joy and pain. Hopefully it will also be a place where you hear some of your own journey reflected back to you and you can be reminded that you're not alone.
I love to read. It’s the way I came to realise that there was more out there than just my life, but there is only one book that I’ve ever read over and over again. It’s a book called In the Shelter by Padraig O’Tauma. Right at the end of that book, he sums up why the concept of Hello is so important – and as I read it, I realised that this is the journey I hope we can all go on: the journey of embracing God, ourselves, and the world in which we live. With all of its chaos, confusion, and profound beauty.
So let me say: hello. I hope you enjoy your stay.
“Every morning, I kneel, waiting, making friends with the habit of listening, hoping that I’m being listened to. There I greet God and my own disorder. I say hello to chaos, my unmade decisions, my unmade bed, my desire and my trouble. I say hello to distraction and privilege, I greet the day and I greet my beloved and bewildering Jesus. I recognise and greet my burdens, my luck, my controlled and uncontrollable story. I greet my untold stories, my unfolding story, my unloved body, my own body. I greet the things I think will happen and I say hello to everything I do not know about the day. I greet my own small world and I hope that I can meet the bigger world that day. I greet my story and hope that I can forget my story during the day, and hope that I can hear some stories, and greet some surprising stories during the long day ahead. I greet God, and I greet the God who is more God that the God I greet. Hello to you all.” – Padraig O’Tauma