Tonight Ivy and I were at a rehearsal dinner, seeing people we hadn’t seen in years. One of the people was the brother of the bride – an old acquaintance of mine – someone Ivy has known much better.
He was holding his new daughter and we were cooing over her after the hugs of “been so long” and “good to see you”.
His next question took me by surprise and I truly thought he was kidding.
“Are you both still walking with the Lord?”
I almost made some snarky reply, but stopped when I heard Ivy say, “Oh yes.” to which I added, “Every day.” and left it at that.
Apparently he’s found the big JC in a big way and is still in that place where he has to say the name as often as possible. Like saying “Lord” 8 times during a short dinner prayer. Not counting all the all the names used. Much like how a 7th grade girl says the name of the boy she is crushing on at every opportunity.
Long ago, I had a talk with Lotus about how I didn’t understand prayer, because it wasn’t like the “Vend-a-God” mindset was right (pray for something, expect something). If God already knew what was right in the big picture, then why butt my nose in?
She said that while she knew Braden would ask her for things she could not give him, that she always wanted to have that relationship with him. She always wanted him to share with her the deepest desires of his heart.
I had completely forgotten about the relationship aspect. The phone call at the end of the day, the text message to say thinking of you. The card in the mail. All those things we do with people we care about.
Since then, I have tried to develop that relationship more. As much as I have been ABLE lately. Which some days ain’t much. Some moments ain’t at all.
I have tried to sit with God more in the last eight weeks. God knows I’ve had the free time. (c’mon, that was kinda punny.)
I have asked him (yeah, I guess I think of God as a man. no pronoun really works for me) hard questions.
Have you ever tried asking God for exactly what you want, and waited flinching for the answer to be NO?
That shit ain’t easy.
Listening isn’t for pussies.
True listening. Knowing I may hate the answer. That the answer may cause more pain. Pain of finality.
Then the answer was Yes. The small flicker of flame in my heart flared to warm yellow.
Days later, I asked the same question. Again. Because I thought I might not have truly listened.
Same response. Yes. Same flame. Same yellow.
Days later, again.
More confirmation. More Yes.
So, I am working to listen. I am trying to ask the right questions. I am trying to grow. To fix what is broken. I have work to do between now and the Yes coming to be.
So yes, Ben. Every day. And it’s scary as fuck.
I really love this post! Among other things, it reminds me that I need to work on my listening. Thanks.
Yeah, I’m definitely private about my spirituality and would have been caught off guard by that question – but not quite as much as when a great aunt grabbed my boobs and yelled, “you’re breastfeeding, aren’t you!?” during a family reunion. Her second question was probably about faith, as that is how that side of the family rolls.
I think a lot about how my relationships with people and my relationship with God are intertwined. Tough questions. And I definitely have to work on the “true listening” you mention.
You truly have a gift with words. I smile and nod, laugh and cry with every post you make. There is much to be said for asking not for material things, but for strength, courage, willingness, and the like. I stay far away from asking for patience because I know, as soon as I ask, a situation will present itself that requires patience on my part. God has a sense of humor, of that I am sure. May you find the joy you seek. Luvs ya!
Church is not a place, of sorts, it its a concept. To be in communion with God and with Godly people is to be “in church”
There is a lot of truth to the opiate that is and always had been religion..I prefer my Jesus to new pondered with a clear head and open heart
I less of a pray-er and more of a chat-er. as I agree with the “Vend-a-God” (hilariously dead on, btw). So we have chats, I ask for a little more patience, a little more guidance, for people to not be idiots, you know. I figure if he’s always watching, he already knows what’s going on, right?
My mom is very religious; I am not. I am spiritual, but I do not have the all-encompassing blind faith as many do. I grew up in church, but it’s just not for me any more. Maybe one day it will be again…who knows. 🙂
Big, scary questions . . . especially when things in life are not at their easiest. I have a Christian CD I love (one of the few from college) where the songwriter/ singer who had just gone through some major personal challenges talked about how faith means running the race as well as you can, and some days all that means is tying your shoes.
“So tie your shoes, my dear friend, and press on.”
Lotus / Sarcastic Mom
You’re doing better than I am these days.
Love you, babe.
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My internal response would have also been “The fuck?”
AND how I was raised, having an internal response including the f word would have also equated to “YOU ARE UNWORTHY YE SINNER!” (only said way more gently but the general gist is still the same)
Perhaps this is part of my problem with the whole “talking to god’ thing….
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