It is my pleasure to introduce you to Lindsey Funtik as a regular contributor. Lindsey is a beautiful, beauty seeing, beauty-creating poet, writer, student, theologian, and friend.
I’ll never forget the first time I heard Lindsey share one of her poems in a seminary classroom. In place of an academic paper, she had written a beautiful and moving multipage epic on Origen's "On Prayer" (Origen was a 2nd century Christian scholar, ascetic, and theologian). I was familiar with the material but I was not prepared for the way Lindsey skillfully used image and metaphor to bring the themes of that book to life. I sat in my chair moved and speechless with a huge grin on my face. One of my classmates just did that! This was early on in my first semester at Ashland Theological Seminary and I knew then and there that I was either way out of my depth or in exactly the kind of place I needed to be.
Since that first semester Lindsey has come to be a dear friend who often blesses and encourages me. We have shared many classrooms learning and thinking about deep and complex questions—and Lindsey’s perspective continues to be one that I want to hear. In her I find a beautiful blend of pastor, poet, and professor. The pastoral shines through in a tender love for people that is obvious to those who know her. As a poet she thinks deeply and creatively, feeling the magnificent highs and the turbulent lows of human experience—then she finds language to describe the ineffable. Lindsey has professor glasses, which I love. But she also has a mind that thinks critically and asks challenging questions like my professors do. I think these qualities are so important to the growth and learning that we all need a little bit more of in our lives.
Lindsey is also a library fairy. When I think of Lindsey I almost always picture her in the library. It just seems to be her natural habitat. She loves the library and was employed part time at our Seminary library for quite a while. When books I had requested arrived at the library, she would call from the library phone and say, “Hello, this is the Ashland Theological Seminary Library fairy calling to let you know that your books have arrived.” In addition to being a library fairy, Lindsey also has an affinity for fairy and troll culture that perhaps you’ll get to experience at some point.
The other day Lindsey and I met up in the Library so we could do a photo shoot in her “natural environment.” I found Lindsey there working hard on her master’s thesis and some of these photos record her sitting at her worktable, just as I found her when I arrived. I hope you enjoy them. I had so much fun with Lindsey capturing them.
More importantly, I hope you enjoy the upcoming opportunity to read some of Lindsey’s writing and poetry in the coming days. May you see beauty that brings your heart to life.