And i think it weighs 15lbs.
I feel as though I have been allowing myself to eat and drink the Lord's word in the Bible more earnestly and searchingly than ever before. And all that eating and drinking has led to me consuming the love of God, getting fat with inspiration, and getting tubby with grace.
I've been doing a kind of elongated religious retreat called Women of Grace on how to live a full life as a Catholic woman in today's social climate. The group is wonderful. I'm not sure I'm getting exactly what I am supposed to be getting out of it... but it has been a call to me to focus on my prayer life and especially to address my greatest spiritual struggle.
I have always been spiritual in the sense that I've known there is something else there, something just beyond the veil of our eyes and the understanding of our minds. I have my share of ghost stories that I can tell to wide-eyed nephews lest they forget who the 'cool aunt' is. And I've had my share of unbelievable moments of chance, whether they are encounters or visions, that though they could be reasoned away by coincidence, I consider small miracles.
And yet, where some people struggle with whether they believe in the divinity of Christ, or whether or not they should follow all church doctrine, my greatest struggle has always been... is there a God... really. really.
And even as I write that, two voices in my brain spout off near simultaneously "of course there is," and "of course there's not."
I actually have a little cartoon angel and devil talking to me on my shoulders, except instead of being so clearly marked, they are both self-assured identical twins that have the ability to argue their side until the moon turns blue. Dissenting interior voices can be kind of awesome (I'm never lonely)... but it can also be frustrating for issues that seem more important. Like, for example, belief in God.
I let my forbidden fruit breathed voice have roam as I find myself re-examining biblical stories and seeing how important they were as guides to live a healthy life in a time before antibiotics and refrigeration. I find myself recounting lives of saints and wondering if really all the fuss was necessary and also wondering why on earth would anyone want to be called to be a saint if fiery deaths and early graves tend to be the fashion in those circles.
And I see people all around me that say they believe in sin do awful... really awful things.
"Rob," I'll say to my husband, "If people really believed... really really believed, that it was 90ish years here vs. eternity -ETERNITY- in Heaven... No chance people screw up this much. I mean, really."
Yes, yes, there is original sin, free will, only human yada yada yada... but what are we doing? I look around and I am at a complete and utter loss for words at what people will do or say for comfort, popularity or pride and I'm just talking about a night at Bunco for goodness sake.
And what this course has helped me do over the last several weeks is to finally understand the meaning behind taking the log from my own eye.
Because what 'we' are doing. What 'they' are doing doesn't matter. And whether 'people' believe in God or not doesn't matter. What matters is what I believe and what I do with that belief.
And when I quiet myself and drive out fear and pray with love, one voice kindly rises above any other and it says assuringly, "I am here."
And, I remember something that I knew easily without question once...
God is kind of amazing.
I believe in God.
And I've gained 15lbs.
And I'm hoping the two aren't related because I'd like to lose one without the other.
But I feel really bad about praying for weight loss. So I signed up for Pure Barre ballet classes instead.
I'll let you know if I'm a believer of those in a month or so... but I digress...
thanks for reading,