A reader from Texas sent us a copy of a letter issued by a church summer camp: "Dear Parent(s): As you were aware, yesterday we went to the Mary T. Meager Aquatic Center. Sometime after we left the facility, some evidence of deification was located in the pool. The water was tested and found to be safe. I wanted you to be aware of this occurrence." The letter is signed by the "AfterSchool Program Director."
Too bad that I've lost the envelope with the return address, since many of you might wish to find the Mary T. Meager Aquatic Center, to see this thing which has come to pass. The author of the letter sensed what Rudolf Otto called the mysterium tremendum et fascinas: when one encounters the Holy, the Sacred, the Divine, the Deity, one feels frightened and unsafe. Therefore the need for reassurance: "The water was . . . found to be safe."