There is a God… ask me how I personally know.
When we approach the issue of God or someone starts throwing about religious vocabulary filled with what appears to be trite verbiage to the listener, critics of all kinds show up. And when Satan or the Devil is involved in the mix, it really brings out all the late night comedians.
The main question always posed early on is, “How do you know God even exists? Have you seen Him?” To which I would very quickly answer. “No.” So when asked the follow-up question always on the heels of the first question, “Then how can you say you know He exists? Maybe it is just a deep psychological need all of us have to create this Super Being always standing in the background ready to take on responsibility for all the unspoken or misunderstood questions of ‘why this or why that’ that all we humans have.
Questions that have been being asked for thousands of years. If you have any knowledge of the Bible and its references to peoples’ experiences of dealing with, if there is a God, the one I go to instantly is the story of the young man who was found in the temple by Jesus who had been blind from birth. Jesus heals his blindness on a day he least expected it and my, my, what a commotion it caused. I love how the rendition goes. Once the onlookers become aware of what just happened, the authorities, the current day religious leaders and even his parents are all called upon to get in on the discussion, his parents finally duh, they ask him. Every time I read this I still am amazed that it took so long for everyone involved to finally get smart enough to ask the right question to the right person.
This is where how I am feeling today bears witness to my blog sharing. I can see all eyes coming to rest on this young man. Who, probably while everyone was discussing and even arguing over who of them was right or wrong about who Jesus was or wasn’t or what did or did not happen, is simply ecstatic with his new sight. He then gives the absolute best and oh so completely appropriate answer. I love how he begins, “I have no idea who Jesus it. I don’t know how this happened or why it happened to me today, but the thing that I do know is this, I was blind and now I see!” I am sure everyone was waiting for some BIG mind-boggling oration riddled with impossible to understand technical jargon.
Oh, how I understand! I know my ‘blindness’. I know myself. No one knows me better than I do; no one but God. I know the dark places I have gone to. I know when I walked out of those dark pace as if someone hit the pause button in my life and I walked a safe distance from whatever was happening in my life and the pause button was again pushed and everything continued on but without it effecting me. If you have further read the Bible, you know there were times Jesus was about to be in the midst of a stoning. Have you ever wondered how he just walked off? The stoners were ready; the crowd had not disbursed, nor the atmosphere of the moment disrupted by an ancient police squad with teargas. No, the pause button that was in effect for Jesus back then still is in effect today.
Again, I cannot reiterate enough that I know me. I know exactly what I can and cannot take. I know my emotional and physical threshold and yesterday it was once again tested. I had to go have an MRI of my right shoulder done. Not ever having been on the receiving end of this procedure I did have enough wits about me to request what they call an “open” MRI. Excuse me while I roll with laughter for a minute. OPEN???? What part of having a huge round padded (still laughing) disk slid within 4 inches of your face with only a very limited view of maybe six inches to the right or left of you would you consider open????
The minute this machine was moving toward my face cutting off the only movement of cool air in the room coming from the central air-conditioning, I knew what being buried alive must feel like. As my heart rate begin to instantly spike and my mind turned on me that had been my ally all morning telling me I could do this, I suddenly found myself alone on a cold metal table about to suffocate and finally succumb to the reality that I was about to cross my threshold of sanity.
As my left hand began to raise up off the table to begin scratching madly at the air and this disk that had so quickly covered me from the top of head to about my waist, and knowing what fear taste like, something happened.
This God that I have lived with for 40 years once again hit the pause button for me. Did the machine stop? No. Did the sound liken to someone beating a drum like dripping water in the middle of my head that was accompanying this live burial stop? No. Did the technician all of a sudden do or say something that came to my aid? No. God factored Himself into my circumstances in the form of a Bible story I have read over and over. I saw this young man step out of a long ago era, peer into the small space between me and life, as I know it, about to leave me and said, “I understand.”
All of a sudden I found myself experiencing that liberating pause button that only God can press. I closed my eyes, my breathing instantly relaxed, my hand went back down to my side, and a cool stream of air miraculously found me in that cramped space.
Forty minutes later after intermitting 6, 7, or 8 minutes in length of drum beating sounds, that hovering padded disk firmly overhead, unable to move any of the body parts that I am used to readjusting due to pain or stiffness throughout my day at my discretion I emerged like an observer of my own life.
So, I’ve been asking myself since yesterday, what again would I say to anyone who asked me, “Yeah, but how do you really know that God exists?” I have yet another ‘blind’ understanding. I did not just summon up some inner strength or mind over matter or positive thinking strategy. If that is the case then I have a latent duel personality just waiting for the bus to the funny farm.
And that is what I think it comes down to for all of us. It doesn’t matter what theology says, what the day’s authorities think they know, what religious tradition or teachings claim or don’t claim, or even what you put off believing in your own heart about who God is because believing in Him might change you forever . . . it’s the things that you know, that you know, that you know, that you don’t know how you know them or why they happen or didn’t happen, they just did in that personally experienced ‘pause’ of your life.
So, even when I find myself in those personal moments when I am my own accuser of why I believe what I believe, I know me. And no one, not even myself on those questionable days life brings to all of us can I help but say, “All I know is, once I was blind, or in this case about to go crazy and make a total fool of myself, and here I am.” Restored once again and in as right a mind as possible for me. You’ll have to excuse me as I must pause right here to give thanks to the God that I know exists.