As I continued to put off my Anabaptist history homework, I decided that I should watch a bunch of trailers for the classic movie series Indiana Jones. I could have taken the time to sit through an entire movie, but trailers give you ten times the hype in one-tenth the time.Watching scenes of the macho adventurer traipsing across the globe snatching precious artifacts and thwarting Nazi villains both piqued my interest and alerted my cynicism. Some guy with a bullwhip was supposed to be representative of archeologists everywhere? Obviously women can be swashbuckling social scientists too!
I needed a mission with which to prove my point. I wracked my brains for a historical puzzle that begged for answers. Then it hit me like a boulder rolling out of an ancient Incan temple…What had happened to the Mennonite Archives on campus?
Like the Arc of the Covenant, the Mennonite Archives are a treasure hidden away from the world to prevent mere mortals from being overwhelmed by their contents. One time, a researcher opened a forgotten part of their contents and next thing anybody knew, the Elkhart Police Department was called in to ensure that the building didn’t explode. If you don’t believe me, read the MCUSA Archives Wikipedia page.
Strapping on my (soon-to-be) legendary Ohio Yoder hat, I took a jaunt over to Newcomer to see what was really going on there. Signs for the Archives pointed the way through a quaint little courtyard garden.
It seemed friendly enough, but I noticed that the uneven bricks of the pathway might be booby-trapped. And there was a possibility that the gurgling fountain might be hiding killer piranhas. Then I reconsidered—is this really how Mennonites would guard their Holy Grail?
Of course not! I ensured that there were no Sunday school superintendents sitting around to give me withering glares. The coast was clear.
I came to the door emblazoned with the ancient symbol of a dove bearing an olive branch. Its single dot of an eye staring back at me seemed to be warning of something else which I couldn’t put a finger on…until I realized I was not alone.
Jolted to reality by the realization that I was being watched, I turned to face head on the spectacled man hanging in a picture frame on the wall. His was the face of the ultimate Sunday school superintendent. I almost balked, thinking this must be my pit of cobras to fall into…
*Side-note: Is it at all ironic that Indiana Jones has a deathly fear of snakes, but his go-to device is a whip? Does he ever wake up after a nap and freak out because he thinks he has a serpent strapped to his pants?
In any case, I looked at my feet and muttered an excuse about how I was just looking for the restroom. Immediately I felt the intensity of his glare dissolve. I could now focus on the sign which read that the Mennonite Archives had been relocated to 3145 Benham Avenue, Elkhart, Indiana.
3145…3145…This number must be important somehow…It’s pretty close to pi right? Mmm, pie—this makes sense! They must have relocated the Archives so as to convince would be visitors that they are nothing more than a collection of Mennonite pie recipes!
Thus satisfied, I returned to my room and hung up my hat, until its services might be called upon again…