Tess_profile

Eternity staff writer extraordinaire. 

What are you known for?
I am slightly terrified of the answer to this question. The other night one of my housemates told me that I was the perfect combination between Ross and Phoebe (on Friends). So, smart and weird? Quirky? Funny? I like to think I am known for valuing people for what they are, rather than what they’re not, but that’s probably just because it’s something I would like to be known for. So if you could spread the word on that one, I’d be forever grateful.

What’s your favourite quote?
A few years ago I was having tea with my Nanna and she said to me, ‘no need to worry about next year, I have good grandma vibes’. I just love that quote, and her. She is always so calming and normal. I think I could learn a lot from her.

Career Highlight:
You’d think it would be that year I spent living in Mexico City, becoming fluent in Spanish and teaching the Bible to university students. But it turns out that I just love telling the stories of ordinary people finding and following God against all the odds (although if you ever meet me, I recommend asking me about that time I interviewed Margaret Court – it’s a pretty great story).

If you were 80 years old, what would you tell your children?
God has made everything beautiful in its time. I like the idea that life comes in seasons – joy, boredom, grief and deep darkness, intellectual satisfaction, sleep and many more besides – and that change is coming, it’s always coming.

Favourite verse in the Bible:
“My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart
And my portion forever.” – Psalm 73:26

I love this, not so much because of what it says, but because three verses earlier the Psalmist says this: “when my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you.” Honestly, that is what I am like when my heart is grieved and I am embittered. But it is in those moments, the really rubbish ones where I am cranky and throwing a temper tantrum at God that he is decidedly for me, and is the strength of my heart. I have no idea how that actually works, but I like it.

Cats or dogs?
I have always avoided putting this in print, but I suppose the time has come: I am not inclined to like anything with more or less than two legs. It’s not that I actively dislike animals – I have a real affinity for giraffes – but I don’t want to own one, or have one sit on my lap (although that may be because a giraffe on my lap would squash me. I digress). It’s not that I actively dislike animals, I just kind of … well … I feel nothing. I can see that puppies are cute, but my heart just doesn’t melt when I see them.

You’re a new addition to the crayon box, what colour would you be and why?
I could be red, the colour of fire engines and strawberries and stop signs.
But then I could be green, the colour of grass and leaves and limes.
And orange could be fun, to be the colour of the sun.
But blue could also be great, because of all the whales and skies and lakes.
I wouldn’t want to be peach, there’s not enough work for a peach-coloured crayon,
and brown is just a bit boring.
But purple would be alright, and yellow never sends people snoring.
I’d like to be a rainbow crayon, to colour the world anew,
and I hope that other single-colour crayons wouldn’t be too sad, and leave me to go and hang out with a stick of glue.

What do you value most in life?
Honesty. I want to be the kind of person who is honest on the days I don’t want to get out of bed, honest on the days when I laugh so much my tummy hurts, honest on the days when I just don’t understand anything any more, and honest on the days when I do not want to talk to anyone about anything. Throw in a bucket of kindness, and that’s the kind of person I want to be, and love interacting with.

Tess Holgate's Stories