Up On High

god is in the details

“Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”–Hebrews 11:1.

When I was younger, I wanted to believe in God.  I wanted to believe in God the way little kids believe in flying reindeer, magic and Santa Claus.  Blindly, without proof or evidence, save for hope in their hearts and imagination in their minds.  I’ve always liked the idea of faith.

I wasn’t really raised with religion, other than the times we’d go visit my dad in California.  During those visits we’d go to Sunday School, which for me was a chance to play hang-man inside the hymnal with my sister and tease my younger brother while the preacher droned on about things I didn’t really understand.  All the while, impatiently clicking my patent-leather Mary Jane’s looking forward to the opportunity to plunk twenty-five cents into the collection basket and our weekly trip to the donut shop after church was over.

Somehow, despite my infrequent encounters with the All-Mighty, a reverence and a curiosity for something higher than myself stuck.

At age 14, I started devouring books on spirituality.  Way of the Peaceful Warrior, the Celestine Prophecy and the like.  I was part of a Christian youth group, and I took a course in high school called Bible and Related Literature.  I was dating a Baha’i and bought books with overviews of the World’s religions.  I was curious.  I wanted to believe.  But when people all around me were buying into something that had no selling power over me, I was asking too many questions.  Questions, I discovered, do not bode well in the ephemeral realm of faith.

My foray into the promised land led me only to dusty trails, dead ends and more questions.  When one of my youth group leaders came back from picking up ice cream and complained, while gesticulating with a W.W.J.D bracelet-adorned wrist that “the faggot in line was taking too long” I was done.  I’m pretty sure Jesus wouldn’t do that.

When proclaimed faith, a weekly Bible study or a dusty wafer placed onto an expectant tongue was all it took to exonerate those around me from right action and good deeds, I lost interest.

But luckily, I didn’t lose faith.

Because I believe that God is Universe or Life or Me or You.  I believe in serendipity and that everything happens for a reason.  I believe that my actions illuminate my beliefs more clearly than any recitation of scripture could.  That as much as I play the cynic and the wounded, I must believe in love otherwise I would not continually take risks to find it.  I believe in honesty and living bravely.  I believe in the inherent goodness of people, and that God is in the details, if only you slow down enough to pay attention:  a single ray of sunlight piercing through a clouded, grey sky; the melodic resonance of a sincere laugh; a hug can speak a thousand words.  I believe that life can be as inspiring or dramatic as you allow it to be and that Choice is a beautiful gift.

I cannot prove any of these things, yet I know in my heart that they are true, and as I look within, I’m starting to discover that God really isn’t so hard to find after all.



4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mary Lynn Muttart
    Jan 20, 2013 @ 05:03:31

    Beautiful Jen! Xo


  2. Molly
    Jan 20, 2013 @ 08:05:00



  3. Jennifer Elise
    Jan 20, 2013 @ 23:38:11

    I feel like I could have written this! I love reading someone with a similar experience!


  4. Peg
    Jan 22, 2013 @ 17:44:38

    When we pay attention, real attention, it’s clear that everything is woven together. It’s incredible, and being able to see it is not really necessary. You just know. Thanks for sharing this beautiful piece.


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