I was wearing an inflatable gold crown to dinner – classy AF. Mob mentality made me do it, or rather the peer pressure of some friends and a glass of wine. We were celebrating my 30th birthday a year late, as I had recently turned 31, which is something that still amazes me - I keep getting older. I am determined to age gracefully though, unlike the botox stuffed women a generation ahead of me. Last year this time we were in the the cavernous dark hole of the hospital, ironically perpetually artificially lit.
So this year I had swordfish and shared a bottle of Gruner with friends and then they told me the reasons they love me. After a year of chaos they said they appreciated the way I handled myself, they said I was gracious along the way, they said I encouraged them to think differently and critically about the lives they were living, and I melted into a puddle – with an inflatable crown on it. From my puddle I wanted to tell them that they're the reason we survived last year, that their abiding love was our grace.
If we're lucky we have these moments every once in a while when we're reminded of God's grace and that he inhabits this world. Most of the time I rant about all of the ways I would do the job differently if I were God. I would make sure everyone was happy and healthy and snakes extinct and koalas a viable house pet. I tell him that I’m mad he doesn’t intervene, that if I were him, with all my wisdom, I would show up a bit more often. He’s gracious and lets me shake my tiny finger to the expansive heavens from my tiny place on earth, which is likely some parallel to my place in creation and thus the humility I should posses, but I prefer small dog syndrome.
Until those moments when I remember whose world I'm living in, I step outside and catch a sunset that is holy in its beauty and it silences me. The truth is that all of humanity bows their head to God’s nature, we call it mother nature or evolution or miraculously oriented cells, but by another name we still all see its splendor.
I think God is revealed in those moments. There is a catch in our breath when our bodies know more than our minds, when the cells that bow to the creator respond in amazement. We feel it, the instant before our reasoning minds silence the worship of our being, before we mute the song of our collective molecules in praise.
Every once in a while I let my mind learn from the parts of nature that don’t carry reason. The elements of creation that obey instinctively and carry with them the wisdom and truth of God’s planet. Mostly I think I’m smarter, mostly I explain to God better ways to do things because I don’t have the personality for quiet humble faith. But then sometimes I let myself see God, I let myself recognize all the ways he is present, through redwood trees, through starry skies, through people.
I tell God I wish he would intervene in my deep black darkness when maybe he did. I called it unanswered prayers, he calls it presence in my pain. I called it pointless suffering, he calls it beauty becoming. I called it impossible blind faith, he paints the sky to be seen if I choose to see. I call it lack of intervention, he beckons me to see Him in the people who carried me.
On really good days I see things a bit more clearly. Usually it's when I'm hiking, sometimes it's through friends who stop my yapping just long enough to let me hear God in it.