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It's All Greek to Me-- An Absolutely True Story

alec vanderboom

This morning I found myself praying the Divine Office at my gym's "smoothie bar." (Tessy had a cold, so I kept her out of the gym's babysitting area and Jon had run home to pick up the forgotten swimsuits.)

I held Baby Tess in my lap and marveled over then deep reflections on Our Lord's Baptism. Then I started softly chanting the passages from the Psalms.

A lady sat down next to me at the microscopic size tables.

I got a weird vibe from her from the start, but I just kept focused on my prayers.

Finally, I look up.

Guess what she is reading?

"The God Delusion."

The irony was so funny. The Carmelite and the Atheist sitting side by side.

After a while, I said something. "Do you like your book?" It was so strange because she was so active in liking her book but she sort of fell apart in her defense when she looked at me. It was as if something shiny was distracting her. (Baby Tess? The new wedding ring that I had just asked a priest to bless after Mass 20 minutes earlier? Who knows.)

I am so NOT articulate and strong like my Leila from "The Little Bubble" or Jen from "Conversion Diary". In the middle of trying to be "overly" agreeable while a total stranger explained to me that while she agrees that reason proves that God doesn't exist she didn't like the authors insinuation that all believers are idiots-- I actually said "Cool!" (Sorry Jesus!)

I didn't say anything about chanting 5,000 year old ancient prayers to the scientifically proved "delusion" while sharing her same gym smoothie table.

Then my husband came in. We chatted about our family's work out plans. The lady nearly fell off her stool when she heard mention of 3 other children. I left to change into my work out clothes.

When I got back, the lady had returned to her book and now my husband was praying his Daily Office next to her.

I am SO out of my element in this gym. But God has something going on here that I can't see.