My relationship with God has always been tricky, but I have never doubted His presence. I grew up in a Catholic family; my grandmother said the Rosary all day, it was always either in her hand or in the pocket of her duster. My aunt (mom’s sister), had a shrine to “the Blessed Mother” in the foyer as you entered the house. My mom was a church goer and forced my sister and I to go with her on Sundays but my dad rarely joined. My sister and I learned that religion and spirituality were potentially choices.
At various points in my life, I have turned toward and then away from the Catholic Church until I chose to stay away permanently. God and I, though, we’re good.
I don’t believe that God is only in churches; I believe that God is everywhere I am. When I was a kid, we weren’t allowed to put shoes on the table, even new shoes in boxes. My aunt always yelled, “God is on the table!” I honestly thought that was one of the funniest things I had ever heard, but I always complied. I still think it in my head whenever I bring home a bag from the store that might have shoes in it! I also think — why on the table? and why just shoes?
My relationship with God has continued to progress, we talk a lot; although, He would like for us to talk more, but that’s another story. I have questions, He has answers, but sometimes he thinks its funny to hide those answers in riddles.
The first time I realized that God was a comedian was in college. My roommate and I were playing shaving cream tag with some of the guys on the first floor. Shaving cream. Slippery floor. Enough said. I took her to the hospital, turned out she had a torn ACL. Ouch. When we got to the ER, the very nice, patient man who didn’t deserve to have to deal with idiots like us who had no clue about insurance, the check-in process, or even how life in general worked. This sweet man, who was probably a volunteer, had patches of white skin all over his normally chocolate skin. It was on his face as he smiled sweetly at us while trying to help us answer his questions and it was all over his hands as he passed the mountain of paperwork to us. I leaned into Jen as I whispered, “God, if I had that, I would never leave my house.” Ha, ha, ha, ha — joke was on me. Within 6 months, I had that.
This next one is really delicious; He invested some major time in this one. It started about 30 years ago when I was visiting with a college girlfriend at her family home. Her parents were lovely and kind and gracious. Her dad was a hardworking, former military, small town guy that now worked long hours at the local factory. When he would come home from work, he would strip off his work shirt to his white wife beater, grab a beer and settle deep into his EZboy. His sweet wife would deliver his dinner on a tv tray with an endless supply of his numbing liquid of choice. One night, as he was in the recline position, I noticed that her dad had what looked like a small hand struggling to escape his belly. I was freaked the eff out. When I got home, I told my mom all about how disgusting it was and wondered why on earth he didn’t have that fixed?? I also commented, “God, I would never be able to be with anyone who had that, its so gross!” And I shuddered for extra effect. In 2017, I had two hernias related to a surgery earlier in the year. One was so large, you could see it through my clothing. Well-played, God.
The most recent example, I’m still laughing about this one…the most recent one came just a couple of months ago. I have been unhappy in my job for two years, yada yada, all the reasons, bad boss, etc., etc. I did nothing about it; I collected my check every two weeks. And I was miserable. I was paralyzed. I was stuck in this loop where I kept on telling myself I deserved more…but the pay is good…I hate this job…but I need the benefits…I am so unhappy…but its a job…you get the picture. I think God got tired of hearing my incessant inner chatter, so He took the stage and pushed me off. The laughter continues.