David Stewart is originally from British Columbia and grew up in a little town, White Rock, on the Pacific, just north of the U.S. border. He’s been in the States for 17 years and retains his Canadian citizenship. He and his wife, Liz, have just marked 34 years of marriage. They have four children: Laura is married and lives in the U.K.; Julia, Greg, and Claire all live here in the metro area. David is the Director of Libraries at Bethel University. He oversees two libraries here and one in San Diego. He likes to travel, work in the yard, read and listen to music. One of his favorite routines is walking twice around Como Lake every morning around 6:30.
Describe some of the people who have influenced your faith.
My parents were very different personalities, and I learned a lot from each of them and other godly relatives as well as various friends along the way. I wouldn’t want to overlook the influence of people I’ve never met, either: the faith and insights of various authors over time have been a strong influence. I can see now that this has varied a lot, according to the stage of life I’m currently at; what resonated with me at one time doesn’t necessarily have the same effect later on.
Who are your favorite authors?
Tough question, because I’m either unusually eclectic or totally undisciplined in what I read. Recent reads include:
– The Princess Bride (William Goldman)
– Dead Wake (Erik Larson)
– All the Light We Cannot See (Anthony Doerr)
– Up in the Old Hotel (Joseph Mitchell)
– Masters and Commanders (Andrew Roberts)
I’m about to read David Brooks’ The Road to Character. And there’s a local author I’d like to try: William Kent Krueger, who does a lot of his writing at the Caribou at Lexington & Larpenteur. There are a few authors who for some reason I can always go back to and enjoy. Robertson Davies – especially his Deptford Trilogy – is one of those.
Describe a time when you felt particularly close to God.
My youngest brother died about five years ago from a disease that pretty well destroyed his heart functions. The experience of praying for him during his year of illness – when prayer truly felt like fighting for his life – was a force for change in ways I needed. I feel now like retaining that urgency in prayer – since I learned it through his illness – is one way of honoring his memory.
Do you have a favorite Bible passage?
Psalm 107: It’s a long one, and it’s built around four profiles of people in deep trouble of various kinds, who, when they cried out to God, discovered something powerful and new about his faithfulness: “Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love … .”