My faith rides somewhere between Damn I hope and optimistically agnostic. This being the case, there have been times in my life where I felt reassurance that God exists. Perhaps humans are all connected and this silly life means we are meant to learn from one another.
The first time I felt this was not long after I decided to quit drinking. I was on an arduous road to sobriety and was in the stage of self loathing. It was a point where I felt I needed to be honest and open with my family regarding my mistakes and my addiction. The one person I felt most ashamed to tell was my grandmother in Texas. She spent much time caring for me as a young child and I cherish her beyond measure. My grandmother is a kind, beautiful woman who embraces life with arms wide open. She used to meditate and practice yoga daily, she would give away her belongings to help those in need and we would take moonlight walks and discuss life. I thought everyone paled in comparison for she is effervescent. I knew she would always love me, but I hated to disappoint her. One night I woke up from a deep sleep and felt the overwhelming need to call my grandma. My husband encouraged me to call, most likely so he could resume sleep. I called her around two o’clock in the morning and she answered on the second ring. She told me she had been praying for me, she felt I was wrestling with some weighty issue’s and needed guidance. To this day, I don’t know if life can be this coincidental.
The second incident also defy’s my experience with logic. My sister was living with me while going through a divorce. She had moved home from Florida and was tormented about rebuilding her life without her ex husband as the legality was quite fresh. I received a phone call early in the morning that her ex husband had died that morning in a motorcycle accident. My sister was sleeping in the basement and I had to give her the news. I remember walking slowly downstairs, knowing this information would forever alter who she was. I crawled into bed with her and hugged her. She woke up, rolled over, looked at me and spoke “Brad is dead, isn’t he?” I’ll never forget the clarity with which she said it. All she could tell me later was she had a sensation that he was gone. I would like to believe God braces us so we can emotionally survive tragedy. Perhaps we are all given innate coping mechanisms that act as our light in rough waters. Maybe every so often we learn to trust the inner voice that shines brighter than our doubt and fear.
I have a dear friend who is a staunch fundamentalist and believes Jesus is our savior. One of my closest companions is a wise, beautiful, soft-spoken Jewish woman. She does not belive in God yet lives her life by the mantra ‘treat people with kindness because that is how we would want to be treated, not in order to reach salvation.’ Both friendships have touched me and their faith based in intellectual and emotional rationale make them loving caregivers. I am curious by nature and have contemplated my own mortality since I was quite small. I would pray for faith; ask for guidance to find meaning in a higher being that I could not comprehend.
I am so envious of people who are astute in their ideologies and trust in their convictions. Perhaps I am a student, a feidist always in pursuit of religious truth. This sounds far better than a person who lacks conviction and is void of guiding principles. Regardless I hope the events that have shaped my life reveal my character and have not determined I am lacking it.
One of my favorite quotes is from Wally Lamb, “love grows from the rich loam of forgiveness, mongrels make good dogs, the evidence of God exists in the roundness of things.’ When I first read this, it reaffirmed my value’s; practice forgiving those that have hurt us because it teaches love. Some people who have been discarded make remarkable students and teachers. There is no true beginning, no end, only the process of knowing we are all connected.