Chaps was quite the character. A poker-playing, Communist-hating, God-loving man, he was from Hungary and grew up under the Communists (hence the passionate distaste---and don't get him started on Muslims, either). He started a Bible study at his home on Wednesday evenings and, when we returned from Thailand, I talked to him about Buddhism. Buddhism, as a philosophy, held a distinct lure for me---peacefulness, serenity, calmness---all emotions alien to this high-strung, fiery dynamo (yes, I think that accurately describes me).
I asked him if Buddhism was compatible with Christianity and he surprised me by saying, "Yes, and there is such a thing as a Buddhist Jesuit."
I think the attraction comes from what one practitioner has said:
"Christianity is long on content but short on method and technique. So I think Buddhism is providing Christians with practices, with techniques, by which they can enter more experientially into the content of what they believe."
Chaps knew I wasn't much of a drinker and asked me what I liked. "Sweet wines," I said.
"I have the perfect wine for you," he said, and he pulled out this tiny bottle from his cabinet and poured a small bit of golden liquid into a glass. "I think you'll like this." And every time I went over to his house after that, he would pour me a glass of Tokay.
Tokay is incredibly sweet. It's like drinking warm liquid raisins, for lack of a better description. I don't think I could drink enough to get drunk before I would get sick, but it was enough to "warm" me up, to shake my rigidness and inflexibility loose, to allow me to feel fellowship with others.
What I wouldn't give to have a glass of Tokay in Guam---and a mulligan.