One from the Heart: Lynn Bonge

With No Hesitation

PINK: Lynn, talk a bit about your job.
LYNN: I am a judgement clerk in the Beaufort County Civil Court. That is civil, not criminal. Among our many jobs, we prepare orders for judges to sign, file lawsuits, register notary public renewals, and help people determine if they qualify for a public defender. The job is different every day, and I feel we have a genuine opportunity not just to be bureaucrats, but to really help people.

PINK: I know you love your job, but as I sit here in your living room I see many unique items and pieces of furniture. Are any of these hand done?
LYNN: Well, pretty much all of them are. I love to handpaint furniture, and not only have I done all of these pieces, I used to be in the business. I owned a shop that featured one-of-a-kind items that were personally created. I have also worked for companies creating patterns and designs. Many of my designs and pieces have been featured in catalogues, and I actually became somewhat of an expert of color palettes. When one looks at color as an element of design, one sees the world differently. I look at trees and see literally scores of colors-not just green. Your eye goes to visualizing shades and nuances rather than solid colors.

PINK: What sort of preparation and schooling did you have to do all of this?
LYNN: I am totally self-taught. I loved to paint and draw as a child, and I have simply used the gift God gave me to create what I do.

PINK: I understand that you and a friend have also written a book that has been submitted to a publisher.
LYNN: Yes, it is a book about two dogs. It is called Low Country Spuds-A Tail of Two Fatties. A vet once told me that my dog was so fat he looked like a sack of potatoes, and my friend's dog had the same comment. We started to use the term spud, which is the Southern term for potato. The storybook is illustrated and also has low-fat healthy pet recipes for dog foods. We have used terms like dogmore stew instead of frogmore stew, for example. My co-author Susanne Wolv is the recipe author. It was all in fun! I did all of the illustrations and wrote most of the text. (Saying this, Lynn produces a stack of her original art. The pictures are delightful. Dogs and cats with facial expressions that say it all, and color that jumps off of the page.)

PINK: Lynn, "One From The Heart" is about women who have a commitment to volunteer work. Please talk a bit about your volunteer commitment and what it means to you.
LYNN: I guess you could say that what I do is controversial to some, but I cannot imagine that. I think, in the beginning, the value of service came to me when I became a Christian. It was in 1984. It totally changed my life, of course. My service now is given through the Beaufort Women's Center, where I volunteer in their abortion recovery program. It is an 11-week program, and is very personal and hands-on. It is a Christ centered approach, and we teach women to face their event and to accept forgiveness. Many women feel that because bad things have happened to them, being the victims of violence, abuse, and the like, that they deserve that treatment. We show them that this is not the case. They are loved, and they deserve to be loved, and they need to see that. I use the word "see" in a different way. It means that when you "see" something, you are able to name it, and if you can actually name something, you are free of it, and you no longer need to fear it. This is such a wonderful program, and as a part of it, I always keep in my prayers that I am never judgmental, that I will always be compassionate, and that I, as a former victim myself, can empathize and help.

PINK: You are so deeply committed to this cause and to your faith. What words of wisdom would you like to share in closing with PINK readers?
LYNN: My words of wisdom, Judith, is actually the "word." By that I mean the word of the Lord. I read it daily and I am always nourished.