Stephanie Heald shares her reflections on friend and author Katharine Hill, UK Director of Care for the Family.
As a young editor in the then very male world of theologians and church leaders, often in way over my head, I longed for a friend. Someone to share lunch with and those daily struggles, to help me work out how to be a good publisher and a good mother, and above all how to keep my eyes on the Lord. Someone who knew what it was to present to twenty sales representatives or two thousand conference delegates after being up all night with a poorly toddler or a heartbroken teenager. Someone who understood the holy call of vocation, what it meant to be torn between roles, and still hold on to faith. At that time they seemed so few, but looking back I see that the Lord always provided friends and trusted guides along the way. And quite often they turned out to be authors.
As I’ve got to know Katharine, worked with her on stories and ideas, seen her prepare and present, tracked her itineraries and deadlines, I’ve often had to pause. Someone who is prepared to share a story of doing a BBC radio interview at the hairdresser really understands the pressures, and doesn’t take themselves too seriously.
This is not the work of a cloistered monastic with the luxury of spending hours in meditation; or days on retreat. It is the work of a professional who has learned to lean on the Lord, to draw deeply on him through crisis and exhaustion, and is determined to fulfil her calling faithfully. It is the work of a leader – a hunter, a provider, a protector – perhaps even a lioness.
Katharine Hill’s latest book, Born Free: a call to be still, know God and flourish in a hectic world, is available from 23 June 2023, 192pp hardcover, £16.99 ISBN 978-1-914553-18-9