Ignorant But Educable

The minister/writer wrote
about a student of his. It
went something like in
a rough paraphrase, “If
he rejected the caricature
of Christianity that was
in his mind, I could not
blame him. If he accepted
Christianity, he was accept-
ing something about which
he knew so little,” and that,
of course, is the glory — that
state of ignorance, the start-
ing point, the beginning, and,
yet, it so often, early on, be-
comes the end point or what
turns out to be a zero sum
game for everyone if that
student enters the ministry,
a closed mind to a fathom-
less, endless experience of
enlightenment accompanied
by ignorance accompanied
by enlightenment and on and
on and I, diploma and a preach-
ing award in hand, had the
temerity (It was called “A
Calling.”) to preach on
eternal verities when in
my yet wet-behind-the-ears
years. Thankfully, the congreg-
ants had the kindness to forgive
me and pray that I may catch
on. One particularly kind man,
slipped a ten-dollar bill in
my hand each Sunday as he
greeted me following worship.
It wasn’t a gift in gratitude for
a wise sermon, I don’t think.
He said something like, “Here,
take your wife out for a nice
lunch.” My hunch? I think he
was commiserating with her
and for her for having to listen
to me week in and week out
in a marriage which had just
begun and, therefore, she
deserved some kind of a
gesture of kindness. Back in
the day, that ten bucks bought
the best view in the best
restaurant for Sunday brunch
in Manhattan.


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