Little Cayman, British
Monday, March 20, 2006
Last night after services, I asked the minister if he had a minute to
talk. I wanted to know how he had come to Little Cayman and how he felt
about his life and work here.
We sat down and he told me about his days working as a nuclear engineer
at a navy shipyard in Virginia and how unhappy he had been.
About how one day, someone had handed him a slip of paper on his way
to work, that asked "Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your
Lord and savior?"
That he had been working the third shift that night and he went over
to look at the bible on a colleague’s desk and realized that he
needed to ask Jesus into his life.
in the mail, I got a book in the mail that I had ordered for the author/photographer
(Jim Stone) of a book called Stranger than Fiction. The book
I had ordered was also called Stranger than Fiction, but was
by my great uncle, Lewis Browne, and was about the history of the Jews.
it was only in the chapter on Jesus that the book was all marked up.
of the book that were underlined were all how Jesus was warm and kind,
as opposed to the other prophets who were fierce and impatient. I felt
more akin to him on that accord.)
About how his wife, a dental
hygienist, had been upset at first when he told her he was saved and
had said, "You’re not going to go all Jesus freaky on me,
That eventually, she became interested in Jesus, too, and he could tell
because her disposition changed. They had had problems in their marriage
and she had been very sad because of a miscarriage but now she was loving
He said he spent six to eight hours preparing for every service, from
picking the music to writing the sermon. While he might sometimes like
the excitement of preaching to thousands of people, as he had done in
revival meetings before he had come to Little Cayman, he was content
to reach only a few people because it was serving God one person at
I looked at my watch and realized it was growing late. I didn’t
want my sister to worry so I said I had to go.
Almost like a man on a date who suddenly realizes he has monopolized
the whole conversation, he said, “But what about you? We haven’t
really talked about you. Have you been saved? You must have a story.”
I assured him I had. Although I doubt he would have had feminism or
art or cancer in mind as turning points or states of consciousness if
I had elaborated. I told him I would come by the next time I was on
the island and that I had enjoyed the service.
As I walked back, I thought, we all need to be saved by something. To
have something we care deeply about besides our own often silly preoccupations.
Sure, I love Jesus. Or more accurately, the idea of Jesus. And in that
case, I also love Mohammed and Allah and Buddha, too. I only do not
love what has been done to humanity, to Jews and to others, in the name