Friday, March 16, 2012

On Finding Rings And God In The Small [An Interview With Sheila Lagrand]

[Image by Shawn Hoke

Remember Sheila from last week? Our Guest from GodSpotting With Sheila. Please take some time (if you haven't) to read the awesome story she shared with us over here at 'The voice' 2 weeks back. That said, I had the privilege to chat with Sheila (thanks to the miracle of the internet). You don't want to miss this. Read on.

The Voice:  The beauty of your story is its realness it happened to you. It isn’t fiction but did you ever pinch yourself finding the ring? Like ‘someone please wake me up, is this real?’

Sheila:  Yes! After I found it, I probably snuck up on my jewelry box every day for at least a week, peeking to see if the ring was really there.

The Voice: So why story telling? Why do you choose to communicate God to your world in one of the most vulnerable ways?

Sheila: That's a good question. People who will turn away from a sermon will listen to a story, won't they? I've discovered a little niche among my readers: people who've left the church, or lost their faith, seem to feel safe with what I have to say. I'm thrilled to serve people in that predicament.
And I am not qualified to preach. But we're all qualified to tell our stories, no?

The Voice: Wow! I loved that "we are not qualified to preach. But we're all qualified to tell our stories". In your story, you talked about finding a ring which some might count as trivial in the midst of a 'horrible' year. What has really helped you embraced the little things in life over time. I mean, we all want the next BIG thing.

Sheila: Hmm. I think perhaps the older we get--I'm 53 now--the less we crave the next BIG thing. And for me personally, contentment, being satisfied with the small servings, is a big part of my walk with Christ.

I should add that 2006 wasn't all bad. My grandson Cadence was born that year
The Voice: Tell us a bit more about your cousin and how she fits more into the ring story. From how I read your story, I perceived God was telling you more about 'finding' her than finding the ring. What do you have to say about this?

Sheila: Hmm. She died in 2000, six and a half years before the ring resurfaced. She was 32 years old. She left a little girl behind (who, by the way, is doing AWESOMELY well. I was reunited with her in 2010. She's about to begin university and she's a terrific student. Her father has done a good job raising her). I see the story more as a Romans 8:28 thing...the ring coming back was some small good pulled from the tragedy of her death. The tragedy of her life, maybe.

The Voice: Do you really believe God isn't in the business of parting Red seas anymore?

Sheila: Mmm, what I said was, "He doesn't part the Red Sea any more." I didn't say He's out of that business...fine point, I know. Perhaps I should have said, "He hasn't parted the Red Sea lately."
The Voice: You are an anthropologist (which is science based) by profession, and also a person of faith. Please tell us a bit about where this diagrams (science and faith) overlap and contradict in the scheme of things. Or do they ever contradict each other?

Sheila: I'm an anthropologist by training, but my employment is not in that field. In terms of contradiction...this is surely too simplistic, but it's always worked for me. God created the universe. Science is about understanding that natural world. God is essentially supernatural. So for me, I think of faith and reason (or faith and science, if you prefer) as being concerned with different orders of things--natural and supernatural.

The Voice:  'Miracles still happen, even in small ways we overlook' that one thing that keeps occurring to me as I read and re-read your story. But how are we as a society (even in the church) aren't poised for the miraculous. What part do we really have to play in seeing God move in our generation just like he did in Moses'

Sheila: I suppose it would be a cop-out to just say "Jeremiah 29:11," wouldn't it? But I really think that's it. We need to seek.

The Voice: What would you have to say to the younger generation, a generation fascinated with the BIG, we don't want to wait, I mean all these cute inventions (ranging from the microwave to the TiVo points to that) and we are also one quick to analyze everything that happens as quick as possible. What advice would you give to us?

Sheila: I think that fascination with the BIG is a condition of youth, rather than a characteristic unique to the current younger generation. So no advice is needed...age "cures" this condition, if in fact it needs curing.

The Voice: So what book are you currently reading

Sheila: I'm reading the Holy Bible (I read through it once a year; this year I'm reading the ESV).

The Voice: Thanks Sheila, It's a privilege having you over here. Looking forward to have you here again. :)

Sheila: The Privilege is all mine

Connect with Sheila : Facebook - Blog


  1. Ayomide, I'm humbled. I'm honored. Thank you so much! I enjoyed our chat tremendously--though I must admit the anthropologist in me always wants to be the one asking the questions.

    Funny: When I mentioned Jeremiah 29:11, I meant 29:13--and you quote that verse in the blog post just below this interview.

    A God thing, hmm?

    Thanks again!

  2. Great interview, you two! As an older generation person (61 this year, yikes!), I would also encourage the younger generations to look for the BIG everywhere; meaning that GOD shows His miracles (and that's BIG), but you have to be willing to see. Jeremiah 29: 11-14 is a passage written for us all.

  3. Connie, Ayomide asked me amazing questions ... he made it so easy!

    and re big things and Jeremiah 29:11-14: AMEN!

  4. How that ring arrived in Sheila's Jewelry box is still a mystery, and we can only guess as to how it got there. The fact that she did not know it was there and then to miraculously discover it - - was a miracle indeed.

  5. Hi Hazel,
    Thanks for your comment! To clarify, not only did I not know the ring was there ... I knew beyond doubt that the ring was not there!

  6. He he he! I loved the ways you handled the questions :)

  7. Thanks Connie. And great advice for the younger generation. We need to hear more from the ones who have walked the path before us. We have to be willing to see. Once more, thanks Connie :)

  8. Beautiful interview.

    And two beautiful people.

    Isn't Sheila the best though? :)

  9. Ah, Duane.

    For all our sake, let's hope I'm not the best. ;)



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...