Quick update: I wrote 3,241 words in Be Thou My Vision today. At the end of the interview is a short excerpt from today’s writing. And now for the interview with John Jenkins. If you have any further questions about or for John, please feel free to ask them.
Tertiary Main Character in Be Thou My Vision a Christian Western
Hair: Black, starting to get a little long, wavy
Eyes: Jade green
Height: 4’ 9”
Complexion: tanned and freckled
Features: button nose, mischievous mouth
John is a good Pastor’s son when he wants to be. Other times, he isn’t. He is always getting his younger brother into trouble, but he always gets him out of trouble again. He is very protective of his brother, who is mute. He knows his dad is very busy and tries to help out as much as possible.
Why does he get his brother into trouble, only to get him out again?
Because he is a mischievous boy and his brother follows him almost everywhere.
What memories does he have of his mother?
Mostly good memories. She was a very loving woman and took care of her children well. The only bad memory is standing at her funeral looking at her casket.
Who does he respect most in the world?
His father. He was old enough when his mother died to remember what his father went through after her death. He has seen his father in the best of times as well as the worst of times and has witnessed his faith and dependence on God.
Does he ever get his father into trouble with other people by his mischief? If he does, what is his father’s reaction to it, and what is his own reaction to it?
Occasionally he will, but it is never terribly serious trouble. His father punishes him and John is usually pretty good about taking the punishment.
Does he have much work to do? How does he like work?
Not really. His father has some chores for each of the boys to do, but there isn’t much he can do.
How much morals and Christianity have become a part of him through his father being a minister, and what does he think about spiritual things?
Because he lost his mother so young, he had two choices, hate God for taking her or lean on God to bring him through. With his father’s witness, he chose the latter. He is a very passionate Christian.
Mrs. Wilkinson looked up at me with disdain. “You are the problem. Until just a few months ago, you were a hermit. You rarely came to town and when you did, it wasn’t to be friendly or to make friends. In fact, you seemed to shun everybody who tried to be friendly with you. Now, you are suddenly coming to church and making friends with everybody: John, James, Pastor Jenkins, the butcher’s wife, that new woman Wilma, and who knows who else.” She stopped to catch her breath. “As far as I can tell, you aren’t even a Christian and you are just going to corrupt all these good people who are Christians and have gone to church their whole lives.” As she finished, the look in her eyes changed from disdain to a challenge.
My quick temper flared up briefly as I stood there, dumbfounded and speechless. I had no argument to defend myself with. Anything I said for myself would be considered prideful and would be counter productive. As my brain processed this information, a young voice piped into the conversation and I became aware of the crowd of people near us.
“Begging your pardon, Mrs. Wilkinson, but Miss Stuart is a Christian. She has been for a couple of months now. She is friends with people now because Jesus changed her heart and mind. I think she’s always been friendly, but she hid it for awhile because she didn’t feel worth of having friends and no one was friendly to her.” John’s eyes blazed with righteous anger. “And she most definitely ain…isn’t corrupting anybody. If anything, she’s helped James and me get more uncorrupt than before by encouraging us in productive things instead of what we were doing before.”
John gave me a quick glance and I tried to smile at him. “Pa’s said a few times now that he’s learned things from her that helped him, too. I don’t know about the butcher’s wife or Mrs. Wilma, but have you seen any supposed to be Christians talking to either of them? I know I haven’t. And why not? Just because the butcher married a black woman? Or just because Mrs. Wilma’s new, don’t mean she can’t be associated with. Miss Stuart’s acted more like a Christian these last couple of months than I’ve seen any of you do in the last couple of years.” When he was finished, he spread his legs apart and crossed his arms across his chest, defying anybody to refute what he said.
Mrs. Wilkinson stared at John as did I. As we stared at the ten year old philosopher, I heard someone start clapping. I looked up and saw that the crowd had grown bigger.