In response to my brother's reminder, I picked up the biography of an old family friend this week and read through it again. He's reading it to his wife and three pre-school boys over dinner and met the lady for lunch this week. I remember her fondly. During my church days growing up I wanted to be her: Mary Baker, missionary to Africa. Turns out even if I still wanted to be a "missionary", I could never tolerate the heat. South Florida was enough to do me in.
Upon my rereading though, I find that the lady really is something. She seems like a spiritual pillar to rival Mother Teresa or the Dalai Lama or Pope John Paul II (I can't weigh in on the current guy). I realize now that I only wanted to be like her because of her travels and adventures, but she makes me wonder if there really is a God. Don't get me wrong, I still believe in some kind of ultimate power in the universe, I just don't know what it is. But when Mary Baker talks about having prayers answered before she said "amen" and mysterious answers to questions coming from the Bible, I know she has something.
I can't admit that it's what they say. I still can't believe the Bible has all the answers to life. Or like my father says that it's the only book worth reading. Maybe it's just that spiritual awareness that governs her life. Funny, even my adult, rational mind can't admit the remotest possibility that she's a fraud.
When I first doubted the party line, I wanted to read all the philosophy and religion ever written until I got down to the truth. Now, I know it's enough just to have my own truth. Something that fits my skin and makes me happy. Something that is always changing. The church of "all you need is love".
After all, isn't love enough?