Here I am, at the page. A place that has been home to me for so long, even when I haven’t come.
He’s like that. Or she. I can’t say “it” because that feels so impersonal, and this presence is personal—the most personal—but also ambiguous. For a long time I have taken the ambiguity as apathy. For a long time I have wondered if God is what they said God is… Annoyed. Disinterested. Too Busy For Me. Too Important.
But I asked the question: “Who am I that you are mindful of me?” like the scared girl I am, the one trying so hard to accept the lack. The one staring at the side of her father’s face, begging for him to turn and just look.
Only I got an answer.
“You’re my kid.”
So when Liz Gilbert started talking about two-way prayer, and how God tells her basically the same thing every day, I had to turn the interview off because sobbing while picking out bulk items in Costco is not the look I’m going for.
And when I tried it, the voice that answered my question swooped to answer another. Ran. Forced his way through the cosmos to hit my paper.
“Do you love me?” I asked because when you are prompted to ask God one question you might as well hit for the jugular, no use in wasting your time or the Universe’s with polite terms and groveling.
“Yes,” said God. “It’s not just a longing, it’s a Knowing. I know it’s hard to square GOD into this. It’s okay. I don’t need a beard or a title to be near you. I’m here, however you can receive me. I love you.”
I keep asking, God keeps answering. On and off the page. But what keeps getting me is how quick.
I don’t have to meditate for 20 minutes to get into the right headspace.
I don’t have to find a guru or a priest or a shaman or a guide.
I don’t have to understand anything I don’t already know.
I don’t have to be in a special spot, or a certain time.
I don’t even have to remove my doubt, my skepticism, my fear.
I just have to be open to the possibility that God—Love, Source, Light, the Universe, whatever—is here, too, and is at least as in love with me as I know he is in love with everyone else. I have to be open to receiving what is so easy for me to give to other people.
You reading this, I know God loves you. I know it. It is carved into my bones. I know that the universe is conspiring for you. I know that you are worthy of grace and belonging and hope and joy. I know that God smiles when she sees you. I have a learned check at saying “she” but I have zero qualms about the affection and delight and protection and goodness God has for you; Love covers you, reader. I am as confident in little else.
But for long enough—since I was 14, actually—I’ve had a hard time embracing that here, in my own body, with my own experiences and my own mind which is both mystical and rational and each side deeply wounded. I came here with that Knowing and when it came into question something wore it down like a tired, seasoned detective who needs to get home to his cynicism and chicken dinner. “Did God really say..?” to a kid without a lawyer. Fair trials aren’t based on false confessions.
Yet here I am now. On the page again. And it turns out home doesn’t need you in it to be that for you when you return.
Maybe I am speaking too soon, says the part of me that loves me enough to hedge our hope. Maybe, love, perhaps.
Maybe I am speaking too much, says the part of me who loves me enough to hold the weight of skepticism. Maybe, friend, perhaps.
Maybe I am speaking too loud, says the part of me that loves me enough to keep private things hidden. Maybe, beautiful, perhaps.
And maybe I am not speaking alone.