I met a plethora of people when I lived in Portland. A few of them were very passionate. For example:
Dr. Paul Louis Metzger. When I told people I had signed up for his classes at Multnomah Seminary, they looked at me like I was crazy and simply said, “Good luck.” I thought this a good sign, and it turns out, I was correct. Paul is an incredibly conceptual professor, always discussing big circles of thought, expecting you to connect the dots. In moments of passion, he has a tendency to get loud, not yelling at people, just shouting aloud because he gets so excited. He starts pacing and waving his hands all around, then he belts out something profound. It’s a beautiful thing, and I was able to witness this “outburst” on multiple occassions. I loved it! There’s a tendency in academia to grow stagnant, especially in theological circles. But Paul engaged his material and he engaged his God–daily. Now, Paul and I work on writing projects together because we’re both passionate about writing and about Jesus.
Bob Goff. I didn’t officially meet Bob, rather I listened to him speak, on the notion of rediscovering whimsy. He inspired many at the Q Conference with his playful and jovial attitude. The guy is a lawyer of all “whimsical” occupations, but I’m guessing he’s made enough money that he can work on whatever projects he pleases, whenever he pleases. He lives in southern California, works in Seattle, serves as Hon. Consul for Uganda to the U.S., and teaches at Pepperdine Law School and Point Nazarene University. He is also the founder and CEO of Restore International, yet he doesn’t bother mentioning any of those titles when he meets people or speaks. He’s just Bob–a whimsical and passionate guy.
Rick McKinley. Rick was my pastor while I lived in Portland. He also taught at Multnomah and played host for the Q Conference. Rick is a lot like Bob in that he’s done a lot and has many titles, but he never boasts of them. He’s just Rick, the bigger guy with the goatee, who teaches the Bible and loves Jesus. Rick is the most laid-back of all these individuals, but just because he moves slow and talks slow doesn’t mean he isn’t passionate. His passion, I think, is expressed in more subtle ways–like his dedication, his leadership, his calm and patient spirit. It’s hard to describe if you’ve never met him. It’s like you sit and talk together and you just get the feeling that he cares deeply for your soul, for your development, that he wants to see you become great.
Val Clemen. While at seminary, I took every class I could with Val. She and I hit it off when we learned we both liked Dallas Willard. (For those who haven’t read Willard, he’s an incredibly deep writer; verbose at times, but comprehensive in his thought.) When Val gets stirred up, she walks frantically across the room, heels clapping the floor, bracelets jingling up and down her arms. She might lean over and pound the front desk or she might throw a punch in the air. Whatever the case, you leave her class knowing that Val loves to teach and she loves Jesus.