The last day of confirmation class arrived. Reverend Fire and Brimstone, having taught us everything he believed an eleven year old needed to know before making an informed lifetime commitment to the Methodist Church, now reminded us of the gravity of the choice before us. He opened the floor to questions.
"Final Questions..." is the term I remember him using, as if we faced a firing squad, though my memory may be skewed on that one.
A squeaky, quavering voice shattered the wall of silence around me. To my horror, I recognized it as my own.
"So, um... Like, what would happen if, like, after you join the church and stuff, like, maybe as an adult, a person sort of, like, decided to change religions or something?"
Fire and Brimstone pressed his large hands together prayerfully and broke into a wide, patient smile.
"That's okay," he said, beaming. "Good question, Jack. Say a person starts out a Methodist, and decides later to become a Presbyterian or a Baptist. That's okay, because we're all brothers in Christ. When people get married, for example, they often change denominations, so the husband and wife can attend the same church." He scanned the crowd of cowering middle school faces as if measuring our comprehension and blind acceptance.
To my renewed horror, I felt my mouth opening again, heard words again splashing out like flat rocks breaking still water.
"Okay, thanks, Reverend... But like, okay, what if someone, as a grown-up maybe, wanted to become something like, say, a Buddhist?"
“This is spiritual memoir at its finest, at once insightful, funny, honest and profoundly moving. But more, I am amazed how artfully, yet accurately, King manages to weave a treasure trove of important, hands-on spiritual knowledge into this deeply personal, riotously entertaining narrative.” - Harold Zo, author of Zo-Zen: Zen Buddhist Essays and Insights from the Small Town "Big Mind" of Harold Zo.