© Gary McCoy

Century Marks

Anatomy of faith: John Fanestil (author of “Why Maria crossed over,” August 8) recalls that when he visited his grandparents in Kansas as a child, he and his siblings and cousins would sleep on the living room floor. Before they went to sleep, his grandmother would come in and, starting with the smallest child, rub their backs, stroke their heads and whisper something into their ears. As a young adult he returned to the faith that he had previously rejected, and his sophisticated friends wondered why. He says he never had the guts to tell them the truth: “because my grandmother used to rub my back” (Mrs. Hunter’s Happy Death, Doubleday).


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