Signed, sealed, delivered, I’m yours

Dear God,

I started this journey almost 35 years ago. It has had several ups-and-downs, but you have always been there through them all, waiting patiently in the background for me to see you. I caught glimpses of you every once in a while, but never really recognized exactly how you fit into the picture. We were kind of like distant relatives at a family reunion; you looked familiar and I had heard alot about you, but had never really gotten to know you personally.

Something changed inside me a few days ago when I realized not only that you were there, but I understood for the first time what it feels like to know that I am loved unconditionally. To recognize that you not only love, but that you are love was a powerful discovery. I can feel a wave of peace flow through me just by thinking about it. Peace that comes from knowing I don’t have to question your existence anymore. Peace that comes from knowing you’ll always be there when I need you.

There are some who might call me crazy or delusional, but I don’t care. I know what I feel inside and I know that it brings me comfort.

I am grateful to you for being patient enough to let me figure this out on my own. I’m sure you often felt like I needed a wake-up call, but you probably just sat back, smiled and thought, “He’ll get it eventually.”

Thanks for never giving up on me. I intend to return the favor.

Love,
Brian

Dear God

I don’t talk to you much any more. I used to pray quite a bit, but now it just feels like there’s no one listening or I’m being incredibly selfish asking for anything when my life is so blessed. Typically, when I do come to you, it’s to offer a prayer of gratitude for something simple, since those are usually the things that make life so grand.

Still, there are times when I do ask for little favors. Like today when I requested protection for my partner – who had literally been up all night long writing a paper for school and had to drive 25 miles to class and back. I knew he was so tired and the roads were wet from rain, so I wanted to make sure that you realized how much his safety meant to both of us. I don’t know what I’d do if something happened to him. The thought is almost more than I can bare.

I’ve lost a lot of my belief in prayer over the years. I remember begging you to make me like everyone else when I was a teenager. It felt like you just ignored my requests, even though it seemed like you would have surely wanted me to change. I remember crying out to you when I was drowning in despair and feeling like you were a million miles away and my pleas were just bouncing off the ceiling.

I’ve been feeling like that quite a bit lately. Not really desperate, but certainly disconnected. It’s hard for me to separate you from all of the ways that the world tries to package you – in little despicable and distorted forms that we call “religion.” I wonder if you ever have a good laugh over the absurdity of it all.

A few weeks ago, a new friend told me a story that has me rethinking this whole prayer thing. Her story was one that might have made me roll my eyes a few years ago, but she told it in such a beautiful way that it just had to be true.

She said she died on the operating table and was clinically dead for fifteen minutes. She described going to heaven and what she saw and how she felt. She said she couldn’t even look at you because you were so bright, but that she felt the most intense love – so intense that when she was told that she needed to return to her still-living husband and daughter, she didn’t want to leave.

As she drifted slowly back down to earth, she noticed little beams of light passing her on their way up to heaven. Some of them were moving fast and some were slow, but they were all rising. She said she suddenly realized that they were prayers… and the fastest moving ones were the prayers of mothers. Despite all my cynicism and doubt about most things spiritual, I believed this story with all my heart.

So, I’m going to start praying more. And I’m going to imagine those prayers as little beams of light slowly rising to where you are. It’s okay if they don’t get there the fastest, because some of those other prayers are much more important, but I’m going to keep the faith that they’re going to arrive eventually, and that you’re going to know how grateful I am for every opportunity to communicate with you.

Until next time,
Brian