I had the pleasure yesterday of meeting and spending some quality incarnated time with John. This was very exciting for me, as he is the first blogger I've met in person with whom I've corresponded with previously. Right off the bat we both had to tweak the "digital image" we had of each other to better match the actual human being!
I was impressed with how humble and meek he was in person. Now before you think that is a horrible thing to say, it's not that I expected him to be arrogant. His writing is so well-crafted I just automatically expected him to be a bit more opinionated in person. (Perhaps he was just holding it in!) Since I am so brash, I assume others who also take firm, reasoned positions in their writing will be just like me. How silly.
He was surprised to learn that not every Orthodox guy wears a cassock and sports a foot-long beard! Although I didn't ask, I wouldn't be suprised if there were other impressions of me that were shattered once I became a human being and not just a blog.
For John the day was filled with new experiences. After picking him up at his college, we drove across town for Matins and Divine Liturgy at St. John the Baptist.
It was his first time being at an Orthodox Church. Like many of us, John came away from his first Liturgy impressed but curious about many unfamiliar practices. "I'm not used to people kissing things," he said with a smile as we discussed the veneration of icons. Later, over lunch, we covered a wide variety of topics: his life in Haiti, college, amillennialism, covenant theology vs. dispensationalism and more...
Hopefully the two of us can continue our theological conversations both on the blogs and in person. Since he is working toward a Bible college degree, I expect some strong challenges from him in the future!