Stories of us: Grant and Dylan
Grant and Dylan have been reading the Bible together. Here’s a snapshot of that journey.
What do you remember about the early days of your friendship?
Dylan: Grant and I had worked in the same company (though not the same team) for a few years. Grant had a really good reputation. He was level headed and good at diffusing tensions in situations with lots of egos. He’s always been genuine, caring and inclusive.
Grant: Dylan and I would grab a coffee at work. Dylan was really into cycling and started suggesting I should ride into work. At first I wasn’t really into it but then a friend gave me a bike. And I found I quite enjoyed it. After a while Dylan, myself, and some others from my church would go for Saturday bike rides.
One day Grant said to Dylan: “Have you ever read a whole story of Jesus?” What did you both think as you asked or heard that question?
Dylan: I thought – wow that was brave! I admired his courage. I was open to it because I knew there was a gap in my life and I wanted to improve my faith.
Grant: The question just naturally came up. I’d always been upfront: “I’m hanging out with this person I know from church etc”. And then one day Dylan opened up about his church experience.
You read John’s gospel together and then started on Romans. How did you find this experience?
Dylan: Well Grant did know his Bible. I liked how we’d read at my pace – sometimes a couple of verses in an hour (we are both engineers and like to get into detail). I felt really comfortable reading the Bible with Grant. I could tell he had the best intentions for me and never asked anything from me. He helped me understand the Bible – which is what I wanted – rather than just trying to get me to his church.
Grant: Loved it!
How was your understanding of Jesus changing as you read the Bible?
Dylan: I’ve always believed in a God and an afterlife. I thought God was someone you met on judgement day. I knew the basic facts about Jesus but I didn’t really appreciate where he fitted into the picture. Also my church experience hadn’t been that great. It was heavily focused on the process: “stand up, sit down”. Grinding us like a sausage machine. I started to question the value of church and stopped going. But the Bible had always held an interest for me. When I started reading it with Grant, I realised that relationship with God is given, not earned. That’s where Jesus’ death came in. Trusting in that means I can have a relationship with God now. I can pray at any time - or ask for forgiveness or help. This was a big awakening for me. It’s changing the way I live, behave and how I am as a person. I’m excited to learn more about the Bible.
Dylan and his wife have just started going along to Grant’s church. What’s that experience been like?
Dylan: We find church really welcoming. Too many people introduced themselves the first time we came to even remember their names! What we both love is that they read slabs of the Bible so that we can get a sense of the context – not cherry picking certain verses. And there is a question time after the talk. I think that’s really cool and brave. What a great learning opportunity.
Grant: It’s so encouraging. Seeing Dylan and his wife invested and keen to be there. What more can I say!
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