Saturday, April 6, 2013

My Rainbow Connection

Some time ago a person that I have loved and respected and admired my whole life admitted something.  There are things people can tell you that roll off your skin like water on a duck, and there are some things people tell you that puncture your skin and stick deeply into you like a needle searching for your most vulnerable spot.

He told me that he no longer believed in God.

My belief in God, and my assumption in his shared belief, were so foundational to me that I never even questioned it,  like chocolate and peanut butter.  Why even bother to question it?  But this person did ask me to question my faith.  He wanted me to take a long searching look at what I believed, and why, and to face it head on and see if it held up to all of its promises and expectations.

At first I just shrugged my shoulders, I believed what I believed and I knew what I knew and I wasn't going to go on a soul shaking, faith finding mission when I was comfortable with my faith and knew what it was.  And yet I continued to think about it: How do I know what I know?  Where does it come from, and why don't I question it?  How is it that I am so confident in it?

That was when I began searching.  I looked inside myself and outside, I laid awake nights staring into the dark, sometimes with tears streaming down my cheeks.  I read and prayed and read and thought and read some more.

Then one day as I was driving home from a long day of running errands with three small bodies trailing along behind me or wandering off into other aisles, I found it.  I think it was hard for me to find inside myself because it is so, so, so simple.  I marveled at the simplicity of it.

I found it tucked away, folded deep in the very most inner parts of me, layered with all of the other trinkets that adorn my soul like fine jewelry - making me sparkle in the way that is me, just me, completely and wholly me.  My favorite color and food and song and the faces that I love and the places that I love, the things that make me laugh and the things that make me weep.  It is linked in unbreakable chains with all of those other things that I know about myself.  And even though I keep it buried so securely inside me it could never be blasted out with the strongest dynamite or cut out with the most precise scalpel, I also carry it close to the surface, as close as answering what my favorite color is.  Purple.

That's where I pull my faith from, from the place where I keep all of the things that I know are most true about myself, the things that I never question or doubt.  Bacon.  Tulips.  Devin.  My mom.

I feel it wash over me, moments of deep spirituality that to an outside observer look like nothing more than a girl sitting at a stoplight crying to Celene Dion.

It is when I am standing in front of a room of 30 children, talking about God's love, and all of a sudden instead of their bright faces I see my dad's dad, and my mom's mom, and soft sweet Tabitha, and I know that they are waiting patiently for me.

It is when I see the first tulip of spring struggling to rise out of the cold dirt and that green sprout gives me the strength to apologize.  To forgive.  To try again. And again. And again.  And what power does a tulip have, in speaking to my spirit, my soul, if I don't believe in something bigger than me or the tulip?

It is when I am listening to Kermit the Frog sing "Rainbow Connection", and I am trying to sing past the catch in my throat as I smile at my girls, loving them more in that moment than I have ever loved them before.

I don't know what faith means to you, dear friend who is reading this.  I don't know what God means to you.  But at the request of someone I love, I have a better and deeper understanding of what He means to me.

As a final conclusion, I have decided that even if all of these things that we call reality are just a construct of my body, nothing more than chemical signals sent from my tongue to my brain that tell me that the sensation of chocolate melting on the taste buds is desirable, then so be it.

I recognize and understand my world from what my fingers touch, my ears hear, my eyes see, and my heart feels.  I have to trust the information I get from my fingers, and my ears, and my eyes.  And I am going to trust what my heart feels.


5 comments:

  1. I'm so proud of you for taking on the challenge and ultimately strengthening your faith. My experience so long ago was similar in that it was so simple. To anyone else it would be nothing, but to my soul it the the answer to my deepest questions.

    I love you!

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  2. I have wondered how you have dealt with this. Beautiful. Also, so happy about the bacon inclusion. :)

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  3. I am very fond of a Rose Henderson quote from Lost, Whatever the Case May Be: "I just do. It's a fine line between denial and faith. It's much better on my side."

    I did a "doubt/denial" approach to my life for about ten years, I found little (and that is being generous) to recommend in that mind set; and oh my I have found it so much better on the "faith" side.

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  4. Beautifully expressed, Ames. I am considering writing about my own experience, too. It's in my journal currently. Maybe I'll put it on my blog.

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  5. This is beautifully, perfectly written. Thank you for sharing.

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