Tom, if you could be a rodent for one day, what you be and what would do?
Any rodent?! What qualifies as a rodent? Does a marsupial qualify as a rodent?
No, not for this.
I’m not too well-versed in rodents.
You could be a rat, a rabbit, a squirrel.
Rabbits are rodents?
Yeah, technically…I think…for this conversation.
I guess I could be a mouse…girls tend to think mice are cuter than rats.
How did you find Agape?
I found Agape when I applied to Loyola, I think first thing I looked up before I actually sent in my application was whether there was a community on campus. So, I found out that way and kind of just checked the box of “non-denominational Christian” on my application. Then I got an e-mail from Mike, didn’t really pay any attention to it, but then I just checked it all out.
What was your first experience with the community?
I went to the faith fest, and I remember Sarah Harrington and being very bubbly. I honestly don’t even remember meeting Mike, which I think that blows me away more than anything, because having the head of this ministry being someone who’s so easily relatable that I almost forget him, looking back that’s cool about Agape and Ecclesia.
What draws you into the community?
Well, I think what draws me in is the fact that this community is hungry for something. You’ll see a number of other communities on campus that are all hungry for something, they have a goal or something, but the main goal of growing closer to God and closer as a community is definitely something that drew me to stay. The main focus was a relationship with God, and having other things flow out of that definitely stood out to me.
Why are you a Christian?
I suppose the reason why I’m a Christian has a lot to do with what Jesus offers, almost more so than redemption and salvation, was hope. Growing up I didn’t see any avenues to attain hope- I saw the allure of getting money or fame or prestige in different occupations, but I didn’t see any hope or anything worthwhile in that, so everything was kind of a dead end in my mind until Jesus came into my life and showed me the hope he had for me and his death on the cross. Obviously there’s other stuff but that’s the thing that stands out to me.
What draws you to Jesus?
This is gonna sound silly, but in business school some folks will say that in the interview process, a lot of people won’t be looking at your grades or what school you went to. They want to know if you’re serviceable in your career path and if you’re someone people would want to have a beer with. I would want to have a beer with Jesus. He’s someone who is perfect in every way, but someone I feel like I can sit down with and hang out with. At the same time, the people you sit down and have a beer with are the people you can count on a lot of the time.
What has God done for you that you couldn’t do for yourself?
I think the biggest thing that’s very easily noticeable is how he rescued me from my anger. That’s a big part of my testimony- just recognizing how God worked in my life. I feel like, yeah, I’ll get frustrated and upset, but irrational anger isn’t a part of my persona anymore.
If you could have everyone you ever meet see one movie, what would it be? What makes you say “that story, that’s it”?
I feel like it would have to be a comedy. There’s something so amazing about laughing together- there’s nothing like eating and laughing together with other people. From there, the first thing that comes to my mind, the other night Mike and I were talking about “Super Troopers” and he gave me some very direct quotes from that movie, and I love that movie in general because there’s so much goofiness in the make-up of it. Anyone can enjoy it- there are a lot of people who would find it crude, but I’m like “this is for you too- you need to have some fun.”
Any final words for the reader?
I would say that you are really not as busy as you think you are. In all likelihood, you’re not even busy. You have classes and stuff going on, but look at a single mother’s life and think about how busy you are. Make time for yourself and do something you love. Make time for rest- read a book, go on a walk.