Hey Folks- we have a guest blogger for this week. Elizabeth Austin hails from rural southside Virginia, but has made waves all through the great states of North Carolina and Tennessee where she now resides. A student of the Vanderbuilt University graduate divinity program, she's one smart cookie! And cute, too! Granted, I might be be a bit biased, as she is my baby sister. ;) Enjoy!
seasons change. I survey my kingdom from my apartment’s balcony—and by kingdom I mean
the Logan’s steakhouse across the street.
Now, besides the beautiful weather here, the arrival of Fall means one very important thing for
us Nashvillians*: FESTIVALS. There is the Crafts Fair, the National Folk Musical Festival,
the state fair, Oktober Fest, and of course Shakespeare in the Park. There’s a Blues and Jazz
Festival, Fried Food festival, as well as the Comic Book and Horror festival.
However, the most important festival is the Greek Festival. Oh yes, the Greek Orthodox Church
in Nashville hosts a weekend long event: everything from merchants to dancing to ouzo to
This year, right when I was in need of a particularly fantastic bit of magic, the Greek Festival
rolled around. After a long week of work and papers, topped off receiving the wedding
announcement of your ex from this time last year (there’s a bit of magic for ya--bullet dodged!),
I was in search of an adventure with just me, myself and I.
So, I took off to the festival. I walk in, excited to be lost in a crowd of strangers and seeking out
the baklava tent.
Not even 3 minutes into the gate, I hear someone calling my name. Friends of mine from my
graduate school, and by friends I mean three of the couples from my program. Couples—on a
day when I was decidedly allergic to all things cute and paired.
I put a smile on my face, and begin to wonder if any chance for a magical night of recovery is
An hour later, as the couples are talking to one another, I spot a sign. It is a very important sign.
It is a sign that proves that God love us unconditionally.
So I think, “Hey baklava and sundaes. Too bad I have to choose.” So I mosey over to the line,
and wait anxiously for 15 minutes for my baklava. My friends follow me, deciding they also
want baklava. They chatter away, and I keep anxiously shifting in place like a 5 year old in a
As I finally reach the front of the line, the woman at the cash box asks me what I’ll have.
“Baklava!” I say, a little too intensely. She rolls her eyes, and the man reaches to grab the
baklava. As the woman hands me my change, the man hands me a cup.
Only it doesn’t contain just baklava. It is a BAKLAVA SUNDAE. The sign was not either/or,
but both/and! Vanilla ice cream on top of a piece of baklava with baklava crumbles mixed in the
ice cream. This is a cute pairing to which I am decidedly not allergic!
I take a bite, and all I can say is this: pure magic. It was just baklava and vanilla ice cream. Joy
abounding, joy that should not be contained. This, this is the concept of homooúsios incarnate—
forget that Jesus dude—with the plain vanilla combining with the divinity of baklava and thus
be equal to God’s self! And yes, such magic does warrant the formulation of a Baklava
So, I share good news of great joy:
“Baklava. And Sundae. Together. Every existential crisis I have had, am having, or will ever
have has just been resolved. Come friends, find salvation.”
And thus I shared the Baklava Gospel through texting.
*1 Sidenote (technically footnote I guess): I love how villain is part of Nashvillian. Tickles my
dark and quirky humor.