Quite a few years after I set the donut puppets aside, I graduated from high school, bright eyed and rosy cheeked, and embarked on a reverse Exodus. I left the Promised Land of Texas for the Wilderness of Oklahoma – Tulsa, to be precise. Oral Roberts University. It was the only really acceptable choice for intelligent young women brought up in non-denominational homeschool families. Denim jumpers and babies weren’t for me, but state universities certainly weren’t either.
My freshman year I began babysitting for a Catholic family with two (now four) children from China, and I genuinely loved them all. They were a babysitter’s dream. I had been concerned for their poor Catholic souls at first, but the more I got to know them, the more normal they seemed. And then I discovered that the mother, an Oral Roberts University alum, had also converted to Catholicism from Charismatic non-denominationalism. I was floored. One evening I was sitting around their kitchen table after the kids had gone to bed and the parents had arrived, and it somehow came up in conversation that the Donut Man – THE Rob Evans Donut Man – had converted to Catholicism – not even something civilized like Lutheranism or becoming Episcopalian. Roman stinkin’ Catholic.
The news was shocking enough for me that it warranted a phone call home.
“That’s so sad!” my dad exclaimed.
I was about to agree when my mother interjected “Um, he’s still Christian. So whatever.”
Catholic? Christian? I was even more troubled by this statement from my usually level-headed and rational mother. But, I hung up the phone and thought about it for days. Finally, I decided that if it was good enough for the Donut Man, and good enough for Kimberlie, then maybe I’d better do some more research.
I revisited the writings of the early Church Fathers that I’d been introduced to in my Church History studies in high school, without the Fundamentalist study guides to pick apart every line. I read the Creeds, studied the Communion of the Saints, and dodged the “Mary Issue” like it was a minefield. That’s when I discovered that Rich Mullins had been through RCIA before he died.
“No, no, of course not.”
I had no idea what was about to happen.