So there I was, a few years back, standing in the food line at the Houston Greek Festival, minding my own business, when the guy in front of me — a man with long white bushy sideburns, green John Deere cap, with his name on his work shirt — turns to me and says:
You a priest or something?
I am, of course, dressed as a priest and, sinner that I am, my first impulse was to say:
Yup! You a farmer or something?
“Yes,” I said.
He glanced at my family behind me, then back at me.
I said, “Oh! Yes, well, Orthodox priests can marry and have families.”
“Hooray for the Orthodox!” he said.
He related that, although he was a lifelong Houstonian, it was his first time at a Greek Festival – and he’d never been inside an Orthodox church.
He then said, “You Greek?”
“No,” I said, “I’m a CON-vert.”
(Silly of me. He obviously had no idea what I was talking about! I mean, what? I converted to … Greek?)
“Well,” he said, “You look Greek! At least, I think you do!”
He looked behind me and said, “Your whole family looks Greek.”
Continuing to speak like a silly man, I said: “Nah, we’re from North Carolina.”
I realized, even as I was speaking, that this fellow was talking about culture and ethnicity and I was rattling on about something completely different!
My new found friend in the food line at the Greek Festival then said …
The Orthodixie Podcast on Ancient Faith Radio!
PS – I was tempted to title this: Orthodoxy in “John Deere Greek”.