Grounds Keeping

My first year of Christian schooling was spent at Dallas Theological Seminary, a non-denominational Protestant school begun by Evangelical Anglicans and Presbyterians and sustained by the time I got there principally by Baptists. Once, while walking across campus with a friend, we came upon a sociable young man on a grounds crew, tending to our bushes. He, it turned out, was a member of a nearby Orthodox church and, not knowing what kind of institution he was serving, asked us what it was. We explained to him that it was a seminary, a place where ministers were trained. “Like priests?” “Yes, like priests,” we told him.

Now that he had us generally fixed, he asked the critical question: “Do you cross yourselves with two or three fingers?” If it was only two, he let us know, we were denying the Holy Trinity. We were able to assure him that the people at Dallas Seminary believed in the Holy Trinity and that we had never seen anyone there cross himself with two fingers. Thus receiving the good news, he happily picked up his shovel, satisfied that he was not doing the devil’s work in beautifying the habitations of the ungodly.

As for me, I went my way pleased that I had the principal thing right, and that once I understood it better, I might get around to crossing myself properly.

S. M. Hutchens is a Touchstone senior editor.

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