Ancient Story, New Voice

Text and photos by Michael Richeson

At first glance, Rusty St. Cyr seems like a typical, laid-back surfer type from Southern California. His speech is calm, informal - almost like you’re having a conversation on the beach. He’s easy to be around, and he’s the kind of guy who makes you want to go from saying hello to pouring out the details of your life in a matter of minutes.

But then he begins to speak, and the content of his words - rather than their informal tone - grabs a hold of you. The thing about Rusty is that he’s a great listener, but he’s a man with something to say, and he’s worth listening to.

Rusty just completed his first full year at George Fox as the director of spiritual formation in the Office of Spiritual Life, and I spent the better part of two weeks following him around. During that time, he spoke in chapel, class and various other small-group settings, and not once did he fail to make me think, “Huh, I’ve never thought of it that way.”

The difference between Sherlock Holmes and the average detective was that Holmes always had a way of finding the right connections to paint a complete picture. He could see things that others didn’t or couldn’t. That’s how I think of Rusty. He thinks in sweeping biblical themes, combines them with the human experience, and communicates an ancient truth in a way that resonates with the modern heart.