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The Laughter of God by Adam FletcherStrange people. We became friends, but separately. I would hang out with my coffee shop friends on Monday, my bookstore friends on Thursday, and my restaurant friends on Friday.
You're probably wondering what I was doing at the bookstore. Well, probably not, but that's where this is going. I went to the bookstore to read. Not to buy books, but to read. I hate the library, so I would hang out at the bookstore and read whatever I felt like reading. And I read everything. I even read Gravity's Rainbow. I loved that book. Bruce Wayne is the batman, hilarious. So that's what I would do. Read. Sounds boring, I'm sure, but that's where the story begins.
I wanted to learn more about Christianity. I had never really read the Bible when I had been going to church. I didn't then either; I read everything else. I started at the beginning, with Augustine. It was all about his mother, and I don't like my mother. I didn't finish it.
Next I read the writings of Church Fathers, Ireneus, Origen, Tertullian, Ignatius of Antioch, and a lot of others no one has heard of. I found them in a book of the writings of the Church Fathers. Most of the time I didn't know what they were talking about, but sometimes I did.
After the Church Fathers I moved to more modern writers. I started with C. S. Lewis, in whom I found something of a compatriot. Like me, C. S. Lewis liked fantasy and science fiction, he had been an atheist, and he had an unhealthy fascination with masturbation. We had so much in common, it's no wonder I hated him so much, but he did introduce me to someone I loved: G. K. Chesterton.
Chesterton was wild. Chesterton was outrageous. Chesterton was funny. In a way, Chesterton taught me to think like a Christian. I hadn't done so before. I was always looking at things from the perspective of someone who wanted to know. A Christian, however, already knows. He wants to confirm.
I read other things while I was at the bookstore: Vonnegut, Proust, Dickens, and others. I didn't understand some things, but I persevered, trying to grasp the world, to understand what makes it tick. After I read Chesterton, though, I stopped reading. I started going to church again.
Here is where the action picks up. If you're looking for that point in the story, I have pointed it out to you. I went to church and I listened to my preacher. People didn't seem to have noticed I had disappeared for a while; they began speaking to me again like I had been there all along. Or, rather, not speaking to me. They were friendly, don't get me wrong, they greeted me and asked how I was. But I've never been invited to anyone's house for parties.
I became a super-Christian. I don't know what happened to cause it, but I was overcome with religiousness. I went door-knocking and street preaching. There was a fire in my bones, and I had to share the message. I was setting up Bible studies with everyone: my bookstore friends, my coffee shop friends, my restaurant friends.
If you're wondering who was the most receptive, it was none of them. They were all too philosophical and arrogant. They had it all figured out.