Chapter 3 Becoming Fully Human
“It’s when we face for a moment the worst our kind can do,
and shudder to know the taint in our own selves, that awe
cracks the mind’s shell and enters the heart.” Denise Levertov
“Harold could no longer pass a stranger without
acknowledging the truth that everyone was the same, and also
unique; and that this was the dilemma of being human.”
Rachel Joyce in The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
One message that I digested from the religion of my
youth was that those of our particular “in crowd” were
somehow different, set apart, and on the moral high ground.
There was great emphasis on those who are “in” and those
who are “out.” It was a dogmatic world, and our people were
always on the side of absolute truth. Much suspicion and at
times paranoia was cast toward anyone outside the circle.
Catholics, Muslims, and even the Methodists living next door
all became suspect and an evangelism project.
I spent most of my growing up years in South Florida.
The majority of my high school classmates were Catholic,
Jewish, or “go to the beach on Sunday” people. Protestants
were a minority. Within my Baptist church, I absorbed a
message that there was “one way,” and it was our particular
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