This weekend was a big family day for Cody and I. We met my family…mom, dad, little bro, big bro, big bro’s girlfriend…at one of our favorite italian restaurants, Buca di Beppo’s. It was in celebration of my momma’s birthday. We sat and ordered tons of food and two pitchers of Sangria and multiple desserts and basically became the epitome of American gluttony for a good two hours. It was divine.
Mom loved her gifts…especially the Snuggie my little brother got her. I’m not sure how I feel about Snuggies, but if Mom likes it, that’s all that matters.
I came home and napped, after which we left again to have dinner at Cody’s parents’ house, which included his parents, little bro, big bro, and big bro’s four year old son. We sat and ate tons of food and drank wine and had Ghirardelli brownies with ice cream. And once again…gluttony. Divine.
As we were driving home, Cody and I talked about our families, how blessed we are, how we don’t make time for them enough, how we grew up with these people who are loving, giving, and gracious. We went to church and Sunday School, and learned all about Jesus and acted out every bible story with those little felt figures.
I always wondered how I could still believe God was real. How can a little kid’s faith stay in tact through life’s craziness? God was all warm and fuzzy when I was little. And while I myself have not experienced a life-shaking tragedy (yet), I’ve seen plenty of it growing up. In fact, unfortunately, there’s always been a tiny part of me that’s waiting for the other shoe to drop.
I’ve seen family and friends suffer from depression, loss, anger, and defeat. I’ve seen things happen that just don’t seem fair at all. I myself have even doubted and questioned, why would that happen? And why does God seem silent, and why can’t I, at the same time, shake the feeling He’s still there? I have actually tried to kind of brush off the idea of God during a time I was particularly down. But I always found myself praying in spite of myself. How does that happen?
I guess I would describe it as the way you feel when you get a note or flowers or something nice done for you. Or even if there’s nothing tangible to be had, but you exchange a gaze with someone, sense their presence: you feel loved. The bestower of the gift can even be somewhere else, out of sight, maybe not due to return to you for a long time. And maybe sometimes you even get mad they’re gone because they don’t write, or they don’t call, and you tell yourself you just don’t care anyways.
But that doesn’t change how fast you run to greet them in the road once they’re on their way back to you. You can’t really deny that feeling, can you? Isn’t that why people fall in love and get married and have babies and all that?
I think that’s how it is with God. If I can give and accept love from imperfect people…my family, my husband, my friends…and believe they love me, why can’t I accept and believe in love from a perfect God? If I accept their tokens of affection as truth, even since I was little, my natural inclination would be to accept God’ s tokens of affection as truth.
And what would those be?
Every single moment that I appreciate the breath in my lungs, the beat in my heart, and the way life knows just how to move forward.
“As around the sun the earth knows she’s revolving
And the rose buds know to bloom in early May
As now can’t reveal the mystery of tomorrow
But in passing we’ll grow older every day
Just as time knew to move on since the beginning
And the seasons know exactly when to change…”
20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. Romans 1:20