A “No Brainer” in Syria

August 31st was a long day at the church office, from 7 AM through Evening Liturgy for Church New Year; the work day’s start to finish: about 15 hours. I’m getting older and I have a couch in my office. No-brainer; I took a nap.

I awoke around 2:30 PM Central Time, just 10 minutes before my cell alarm was set to pester me. I didn’t recognize the Area Code displayed on the Blackberry.

I won’t recount whole the conversation. The voice on the other end is not known for verbosity. The upshot? The Metropolitan wanted me to go with a delegation to Syria. When? In two weeks, for a stay of 4 days!


The nap may have been a no-brainer, but this … this seemed to require something more cerebral. I mean, does one say No to the Metropolitan? I asked that question … was told Yes. I asked, “When do you need my answer?”

I fumbled through my Franklin-Covey to check my schedule …

The Man-of-Few-Words said something like: Heh, now.

Uh-oh. Being the father of a high school senior, I was scheduled that weekend to visit a college for a look-see. I mentioned this. Few-Words became fewer.

I asked “Can I call you back in an hour?”

One word: Sure.

I called the Mrs. She’s great – God bless her, she married me. (That’s the best part of the Great part.) She seemed kind of excited for me.

Now I was confused.

I called another guy, you probably know him, I won’t reveal, let’s just say: he has known both the Metropolitan and Man-of-Few-Words for a long, long time. He said: Say NO! Don’t go!

Okay: Wife = yes; friend = no.

I called a parishioner who hails from Lebanon.

He said:

The Orthodixie Podcast on Ancient Faith Radio.

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