Through the Looking Glass

I swear…it’s like I’m Alice or something.

I don’t know what God’s done to me. Whatever it is, it’s extremely surreal…like peering through The Looking Glass. It’s as though He’s given me new eyes, eyes specially designed to see the world as it truly is. A curtain has been lifted, and nothing it once covered is at all what I imagined it to be. Some of its good, but what’s bad is really bad.

The worst part is how blind I once was. For thirty-one years, I either couldn’t see the bad in the world, or I closed my eyes to it. The obvious bad (school shootings, abortions, war) didn’t evade me, but oh…the little stuff! Stuff that’s so engrained in our society and minds, we assume it as natural as breathing.

We never question whether we’re breathing air, or toxins.

When God digs His nails into you and refuses to let go, wild stuff happens. I think all He needs is a chance – a crack in a soul’s door – to break in, take over. That’s what happened to me. I have no idea why am the way I am today, why all my blogs have become spiritual. I have no idea why I’ve gone back on everything that once consumed me, why I now speak against it. I have no idea why big is now small, up is now down. One thing’s for certain, however…

It’s amazing…horribly amazing.

Some people say they have difficulty believing in God. I say they just haven’t tried enough, which means to say they haven’t tried at all. They didn’t open the door to their soul, give God that crack He needs to break in. I know this, because I used to be just like them. Then, one day, I just started thinking about Him – casual, accidental, nonchalant.

He must’ve noticed, because He moved me to pray. Praying turned to church Sundays; church Sundays turned to youth ministry; youth ministry turned to Eucharistic ministry. Eucharistic ministry turned to rosaries, a slew of religious reading material, retreats, spiritual friendships, and a heightened awareness that yes…my soul truly does exist. Heck, I’m even considering a religious vocation…all because I thought about Him once.

I wonder if He moved me to do that, too. Which came first: the thought or the inspiration to think? But I digress…

It’s as though He smacked me across the face, grabbed me by the shoulders and asked:

“See what I’ve done to you? Feel my presence now?”

My answer…definitely.

Things I once did out of habit, I can’t do any more, and when I say “can’t,” I mean that quite literally. It’s as though my brain has been reprogrammed, my nature adjusted from bad to better, my instincts changed. Lying, impure thoughts, and impatience have been replaced with honesty, dignity, and endurance. Blindness, apathy, and ignorance have been replaced with sight, empathy, and knowledge. It’s this knowledge that has been most astounding.

It’s this knowledge that has me “tumbling down the rabbit hole.”

I see how profound our sexualities are, how much power they have over us. I see a void in the soul of every human, a void only God can fill. I see us reaching out to each other, for friendship, but especially, romance. We all crave that intimate union with another creature, because God put this craving within us.

Our ultimate craving should be for God Himself.

I see how misconstrued this craving has become. I see it in the movies, television and music, which subliminally warp our minds towards impurity. I see it in the pornography, which can be found for free with the click of a mouse. I see it in mankind’s separation of sex and God – God Who designed sex, the sexes, and the creation sex often results in…more people. I see a lack of responsibility in the recreational use of sex, STD’s, deadbeat fathers… But worst of all, I see a travesty, a breakdown in the family…

God’s most living presence on earth.

God’s shown me the state of my soul, too, and this has been quite alarming. It’s as though He shone a massive, divine flash light upon it, and in the light, I was forced to witness what a miserable creature I am. I’ve seen desperation, self-centeredness, dishonesty, lust…neglect of Him. I’ve seen how I can do nothing without His help, least of all greatness.

It’s as though my soul is the attic of my body, and I haven’t cleaned the attic in years. Out of nowhere, I get the bright idea to try. But the more junk I remove, the more bugs and dust and mold I find. Spiders and slugs scurry after being discovered; they’re trying to find a new hiding spot, but I won’t let them.

I now see how much spiritual work I have to do.

I hear His voice; not in the literal sense, but you get the idea. I liken it to a spark, a murmur within my heart. It’s a strange voice that comes out of nowhere and everywhere, all at once. It’s loud in its silence, for it speaks to my very heart.

On Saturday, I went to get my hair trimmed, and there was a family of four ahead of me. The family had a daughter in a wheelchair; I think she was a paraplegic. My wait was supposed to be thirty minutes, but because of this family, it ended up being more like forty five. As natural as blinking, my impatience reared its ugly head.

“Pray for them,”
is what His voice told me to do, not in so many words.

So I did. I squashed my impatience, asked God to forgive it, and prayed for that family of four. I especially prayed for the mom, who was up to her elbows in children. I noticed the paraplegic girl kept wiggling her head, so I even prayed for the hairdresser, who was (also) up to her elbows. I prayed for the entire lot of ‘em…

And then I heard him.

The guy who checked in after me heaved a loud breath, pushed his chair back, and stormed out of the place. Where my impatience merely rubbed me the wrong way, his was a downright display of narcissism. Thoughts of what a jerk he was raced through my mind, and then…

“Pray for him,”
my inner voice told me. “I put these people in front of you for a reason. Pray for him. Pray for all of them.”

When God looks at people through you, you see them in a new light. You see sensitive creatures – creatures just like you – with aspirations, doubts, fears, and desires. You see the cruelty of life in every wrinkle, frown, and outburst. You see the cruelty of life living, walking and breathing.

You see people desperate for something, but they just don’t know what.

Where I once never cared, now I care the most. When I pray, I don’t ask God for a new boyfriend, promotion, to lose weight…stuff that (if He could) He would roll His eyes to heaven over. When I pray now, the only thing I want from Him is more grace. Grace needed to develop virtue, which (if you gather up enough) I liken to the “credit score of Eternity.” I ask Him to draw nearer to me, help me feel His presence, speak to me, and help me hear.

In the soil of my soul, pull the weeds and plant a beautiful garden. Let Your Holy Spirit be the sunshine which nourishes it, Your Precious Blood the rain which feeds it. Fill me so with Your spirit, I repel the evil which surrounds me. Help me live only for You by turning all the world’s consolations into bitterness for me. Love others through me, and help me die unto myself.

All I have to say is be careful what you ask for.

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writing Brown_Eyed_Girl

"Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self." - Cyril Connolly
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