My father’s mother was raised in an extremely religious family. Her father, a minister in a Pentecostal church that I would best describe as Holy Roller, believed in demonic possession. Sadly, my Grandmother was stricken with a variety of physical maladies that left her constantly ill and often bedridden. Following the teachings of her upbringing, his mother dragged my father to one church after another, all in the hopes that someone could cure her. Taking the miracles of Jesus as literally true, she was certain that someone out there possessed the ability. This belief was so strong that she sometimes gave money to televangelists who promised to do the very same thing.
Jun 30 2011
Apr 22 2010
Throughout the whole of my life, I have felt outside the norm. The Methodism of my boyhood preached that, as a devout Christian, I should expect to be frequently misunderstood, feared, and at times distrusted by the rest of society. Based on my Southern roots and the political convictions I grew to espouse, in addition to the company I kept, I continued to feel out of step with the majority point of view in all kinds of ways. If this was supposed to be an essential component of living the Christian life, then it was not a difficult one to adopt. When, years later, I became a Quaker, it wasn’t hard at all to accept that many would not comprehend what I believed. Shortly before I converted, I read a book front to cover which stated that Friends were used to being thought of as peculiar and eccentric. Those words cemented my decision to become a Convinced Friend. For years I wore a nonconformist’s identity like a badge of honor, though my secret desire, barely even vocalized to myself, was always that I might find greater acceptance and understanding. Having achieved this, I believe that I would find the comfort granted to those not consistently marginalized and discounted by the majority.