In conversation, Marjorie Corbman is an articulate and engaging young woman. As an author, she is compelling and brutally honest in describing the desolation of her early adolescent years and her search to satisfy a profound inner hunger for life’s meaning.
In A Tiny Step Away from Deepest Faith (Paraclete Press, 128 pp., $9.95), this 17-year-old New Jersey student has a plain message for both adolescents and adults/parents. But, Corbman said, she wrote the book not to deliver a specific message, but to show her own kind of awakening into a spiritual life.
“I wanted to write about my own conversion,” she said. That path led her from her familial Jewish ties to neo-Gnosticism, then to dabbling in Wicca and paganism, then to Roman Catholic mysticism and finally to the Orthodox Church, where she was baptized this year.
In the end, she says, “it wasn’t a matter of ‘what worked for me,’ it was an encounter with a Person. I simply met Christ and had to submit.” If there is a message in her book for adults, Corbman said, it is to show them that there is no need to be condescending toward adolescents. “Trust us and take us seriously,” she said.
And to adolescents: “People will take you seriously if you follow and express what you believe.”
It’s easy for adults to condemn her generation for its lack of faith in anything – for adolescents’ depression, self-destruction and out-of-control behavior, Corbman says. “The utopian dreams of our parents hold no water for us … we don’t believe in simple answers … we believe in personal encounters … we believe in human touch … we’re waiting for the All.”
Hunger for truth
“Marjorie is one of those seekers with a profound inner hunger for truth,” says author Frederica Mathewes-Green. “Marjorie stresses over and over that it’s Christ as a person, not an institution or package of beliefs, which attracts her.”
The book, Corbman said, did not come without struggle. She constantly battled deadlines set by her publisher (she once wrote a chapter overnight during a trip to Panama), and she often fretted about what to write.
Despite that, the language in Tiny Steps is clear and direct. It lifts the veil over the frequent misconceptions adults have of teens and helps to bridge the chasm between generations.
To purchase a copy of A Tiny Step Away from Deepest Faith: A High Schooler’s Search for Meaning, contact your local bookstore or Paraclete Press at http://www.paraclete/ press.com or 800-451-5006.