"BUT I CAN'T GO TO SLEEP BECAUSE YOU DIDN'T KISS MY FOREHEAD."
In anticipation of the upcoming Julia Roberts film, Eat Pray Love, I have been re-reading my favorite author's memoir. If you haven't read "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert, you should do so immediately. She is kind of my hero.
While doing this, I found a quote that I liked. "Everybody has a crack (or cracks). This is how the light of God gets in." I loved it when I read it, so yesterday I posted in on my facebook page. About an hour after I posted it, the little red notification bubble showed up on my mailbox. I went to my inbox and found a message from an old high school friend. This friend found my quote funny, because he has a dirty mind. I'll let you use your imagination on that one.
This friend has also been the source of many spiritual conversations over the years. This is the case, not because he is always so deep in thought (which he is), and not because he is a student of the Bible (which he is NOT), but because he is a self-proclaimed atheist. In high school, it was my mission to convert him to Christianity and save his burning soul. In college, we went on a few friendly dates, which again led to me trying to save him from himself. And in our adult lives, we have come to respect each other as "someone I will never agree with but whom I will always adore." It's a happy place for us, and the result of this mutual respect is a lot of witty facebook banter and an occasional reminder that "you are one of my favorite people."
Our spiritual conversations were always frustrating for me. He is someone who chooses not to believe in something that he can't see. In his eyes, science in no way supports evidence of a higher power, and he obviously can't SEE God, so his question for me was always, "how do you know God exists?" And after many failed attempts at demonstrating God's connection to the miracles of life and the universe in general, the conversation always ended with me huffing, "I just KNOW."
And I did just know. There has never been a time where I questioned the existence of a higher power. Now, over the years, my particular relationship with this higher power has been pulled and stretched like a piece of silly putty, but the relationship itself has never failed. In some form or fashion, I can always see God in my life. He's in my son, and every time E smiles, I'm reminded that God loves me. He's in my school work, and every day that I get closer to finishing this master's program, I'm reminded that He has a purpose for me. He's in my life, and every day that I find peace after the storms of recent years, I'm reminded that He rebuilds the things that are broken. So yes, when it comes to the question of the existence of God, I JUST KNOW is a sufficient answer for me.
But one night, when I was an RA in McCormack Hall at the college on the hill, something happened. I had recently moved to one of the coveted rooms by the elevator. These rooms were reserved for Resident Advisers, because they had a walk in closet space that was situated behind the elevator shaft, and (insert chorus of angels here) a sink in the room. This was a HUGE perk of being an RA, because in any of the other rooms in the dorm, you had to put on your robe and shower shoes and trek a mile down the hall to brush your teeth. The only drawback to this room at all was the fact that it did sit right by the elevators, so all night long you'd here dinging and clattering as drunk sorority girls made their way home. But I didn't care. I had closet space and a convenient teeth brushing experience. It was totally worth a little drunk girl clattering.
In recent weeks in this period in my life, I had been having a hard time sleeping. A lot of this was school stress, as I had come to discover I was most definitely majoring in something that I knew I would HATE. And also at this time, there was a boy that I was losing sleep over. Imagine that. So one night, I lay awake in my bed, and for no reason at all began to cry. And after a few moments, the crying led to praying. And then, something happened to me that I will never forget.
In the midst of my scattered prayer, I felt myself lifted out of the dim funk I was in. My eyes were seemingly glued shut, and at some point the words stopped flowing from my mouth. And in that moment, the spirit of God joined me, right there, beside the elevators, in the room with a sink. It wasn't that He was just there with me. He WAS INSIDE ME. His very energy and power ran through my veins where once there had been blood. His presence washed over me in such a way, that all noise and distraction melted away like hot butter. I ceased praying, because for the first time, a deeper level of communication was taking place. I wasn't talking TO God. I was talking WITH God. There was an intimate exchange between us of hearing the heart of the other. There were no words. There were no sounds. But I heard Him speaking to me. I felt the magnitude of his majesty. I tasted the goodness of His grace. I JUST KNEW.
After a moment, the energy began to soften, and slowly I was dropped back into my bed in the room beside the elevator with a sink in it. I looked at the clock. An hour had passed. Physically, I was completely exhausted, like I had been running up hill for miles, but spiritually I was peacefully still. I drifted off to sleep almost immediately.
Before that night, I believed in my relationship with God because I had had a Christian experience. After that night, I believe in my relationship with God because I have experienced HIM.
For my friend, who asks me "How do you know God exists?" I say, I just know, because one night, at the college on the hill, in McCormack Hall, in the room beside the elevator with the sink in it,
God kissed me on the forehead, and then He tucked me in.