Ken’s Q3 – the messengers


KenQ1 – atheism did not account for the craving for beauty and meaning

KenQ2 – being in Israel got me thinking: Who was this man Jesus, really?

Now, the messengers to me were quite diverse. Do you remember Deon Stauffer? He was big as a tank and gentle as kitten. He used to talk with people about God and all during mid watches. I loved to give him a hard time and ask him complicated questions I had developed back at Catholic school. He would just smile real easy and say something like “Russell, that’s a tough question. I don’t really know how to answer it right now. But I do know this, Jesus has meant everything to me and he loves you.” That was frustrating, and a little uncomfortable. I didn’t let on that it affected me, but it did. It kind of rattled around inside me, but I worked hard to ignore it and get back to the Cruzcampo.

As I was getting out of the Corps I had a couple of weeks leave so I took off for Amsterdam. Karla arranged to meet me up there a bit later, so I just kind of wandered around enjoying the improved beer. It got weird, though. Everywhere I went people stopped me to talk about Jesus: rednecks from Arkansas, Asians, African; even people from places that don’t start with “A”. I tried to ignore them, pretended I couldn’t speak English, but they were everywhere, even singing on the tram cars! I later found out that it was the Billy Graham world evangelism conference and I was one of gobs of people with encounters like that.

Then there was Greg. I got back to Texas and saw him right after he graduated with a degree in anthropology. He talked about going to church and I couldn’t believe it. He was a black belt in some really hardcore off brand Japanese martial arts, wore clothes like an Arapaho and played guitar in a surf-punk band downtown. Didn’t seem like a church guy. I challenged him as a scientist (anthropology degree and all) about Noah’s ark and all that stuff. Surely he couldn’t be serious. But he was. He basically said he had some good answers but to those questions, but he had a better question. What should be done with Jesus? Well, that depends, what does Jesus really mean?

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