living room scholar

I’ve seen a freshly wiped dining table, Bibles reflected in the gleam, waiting. Heard the doorbell, smiled, guided, sat. Prayed inwardly while Tim spoke. Young men, dark suits, Books of Mormon. “Do you know for sure you’re going to heaven?” we asked.

Our preparation: the Christian Research Institute, which Walter Martin founded. Our story, before marriage, listening to dear Walter on cassette tapes in the car. Our hearts enlivened when he spoke with love for God.

One time the young men brought their elders with them. Good debate ensued. A Mormon elder told me I was quite a Bible scholar. “No,” I said, but inside I smiled.

A few years later, among new friends in a setting of seekers of truth, someone called me a real student of the Bible. My landscape shone. Every expression must come from this — root, bark, and leaf — I thought. This means everything.

I’ve heard Tim set kindling early in the woodstove, the crack of flame, heavy hinges creaking. I stumbled out to him, slippered and with tousled hair. Folded legs on carpet. It couldn’t be, yet, here, I asked it. “Will it be all right if I go into Orthodoxy with you?”

Glory to God for All Things
Glory to God for All Things

Reputation, if ever such was, disappeared. A step into mystery. Water and oil and wine. Believing a Body — spiritual, St. Paul wrote long ago — can feed me. Believing the Blood is holy, blessed, true drink. This, something greater than the Temple, out of sight of eye, but real. Gospel, in Person. “I am with you always.”

Knowing for sure I’m not heaven-worthy, this corrupted gleam, this blaze. I’ve glimpsed the end of dreaming, beyond my front door. I stumble. Again I climb.


Dee said…
Dear Deanna, I must confess that I'm not sure what I'm reading here. From earlier postings, I hadn't picked up that you were a Mormon. And I don't really know what Mormons believe about the Hebrew and the Christian Testaments.

What comes across to me in your writing--and I'm not sure what you are saying or implying--is that you are filled with a great enthusiasm for . . . Life? Reading? Learning? The Bible? Renewal?

I'm not sure. Sorry to be so dense.

deanna said…
Hi, Dee. Thanks for wading in, and you're not dense. This is rather "insider-ish", making more sense to Protestants and Orthodox Christians, I imagine, than anybody else.

What I'm compressing into brief, poetic form is my journey (with Tim, mostly), starting with years of inviting in Mormons who came to our door and trying a sort of reverse conversion on them (this is what we learned from Walter Martin, a Protestant with strong Evangelical influence). After this, I became immersed for years in intense Bible study. Then I finally have turned to the Orthodox church and its practice and understandings.

I should mention I have loved each step along the way, each preparation for what was to come next. Especially so, because of the people I've met who are seeking to engage reality, to find out what's really going on, in spite of each of our limitations in doing so. This is the journey and process that continues to enliven me.

Thanks for asking.
Dee said…
Dear Deanna, thank you for your explanation. I had thought from some of your postings that you were a member of a Greek Orthodox community.

I find fascinating the spiritual journeys we take and the spiritual traditions and pathways we may explore on this journey. I hope at some point to post about that and to be as brave as you've been in doing do. Peace.