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The Kingdom of Heaven Suffereth Violence
Flannery O'Connor: A Personal Reflection
He plunged under once and this time, the waiting current caught him like a long gentle hand and pulled him swiftly forward and down. For an instant he was overcome with surprise: then since he was moving quickly and knew that he was getting somewhere, all his fury and fear left him. ~Flannery O’Connor, “The River”
I found her while crawling around on my hands and knees in a bookshop in Raleigh, North Carolina. The little Bible college I was attending didn’t have much by way of a library, so I spent most of my free time rummaging through the dusty stacks of cheap books at Steven’s. Steven was a crotchety old bookseller who used to work for Southeastern Seminary until the conservatives began purging the institutions of moderates and liberals. Though I was a “Bible-thumping fundamentalist,” the old man took a shine to me and would let me in early and allowed me to stay late whether I had the money to buy anything or not. Much of the time I contented myself with just plopping down in a corner and surrounding myself with piles of his smyth-sewn treasures. It was there that I met John Donne, Karl Barth, and her.