A believable truth

I never get much reading done unless I’m sleeping elsewhere. Most often, I associate sleeping elsewhere with having time off, and having time off means I’m away from a computer screen. This frees up time for reading.

Anja had booked a suite for my birthday at Okura, and six months after I turn 33, Covid measures are finally so mild that we actually get to do it. It’s on the sixteenth floor, overlooking the Amsterdam Centre and West Side. We eat like royalty, and fall asleep watching the sunset from our California King. I’m feeling like a million bucks.

Whenever we sleep elsewhere, I get overwhelmed with the endless possibilities of the things I can read. Usually, I manage to sneak five books into a suitcase, but for this weekend, I’ve limited myself to one: Mary Magdalene Revealed.

It’s a remarkable read, particularly given that the author Meggan Watterson got an MDiv and not an MFA in writing. Her words flow like a river, entirely sure of where she’s going. Every now and then, I’ll read a portion aloud to A, to share the joy of reading a theological work that is as inclusive and self-aware as it is unreserved and educational.

As I share snippets of insights, revelations in sweat lodges as well as things I never knew about the beauty of early Christianity, A asks me: “Don’t you find this book a bit… The Da Vinci Code-esque? I mean, all this talk of Mary Magdalene’s special relationship with Jesus, alternative plot lines… It’s like it’s all one big conspiracy theory, wouldn’t you say?”

A’s not the only woman who has made such remarks about this book. Isn’t it peculiar that feminists would rather deem femininity-inclusive gospels closer to possibly the worst book in the English language that has emerged in the past decade than to a perspective on Christ that could cure our heartaches?

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