Signs of God

A few months ago, I told a priest I wished God would send a Post-it note with a message that: 1) proved God’s existence and 2) told me what I should do with my life.

The impending layoff, wondering what is going to happen to journalism, despair that maybe no one will notice when news is gone and democracy will collapse because of that absence (or just the local city council will get away with murder), a beautiful life marred by a few desperately painful mistakes — these things have collided to feed a crisis in faith that has been nibbling along the edges of my life for a few years, and darkness loomed. I wanted – no, needed – proof and I wanted it in a yellow sticky. It seemed such a small request. How hard could it be for the Creator of All to drop me a line?

The priest laughed and said, “But, Renee, if you got a Post-it, you would instantly question if it was REALLY from God.”

He knows me well: I’m plagued by a questioning nature. I envy those of easy belief, those whose simple faith is truly childlike. They trust, God provides. They accept mystery as part and parcel of the whole deal and don’t drown in the questions. And they are something I am frequently not: Blissfully happy. Even in the midst of pain, these folks find joy.

Since my talk with my priest friend, I’ve been trying in earnest to sharpen my spiritual tuning fork. I’ve been trying to pay more attention and take more time. And, in the past few weeks, I’ve had what I used to call “God moments,” but like the priest said, I’ve tended to question them. “Naw, that wasn’t … no, that was …. well, it was a coincidence.”

Here I ask God for a sign and I get some pretty obvious ones (even in the midst of the layoff, with despair threatening) and instead of saying, “Hey, that’s my Post-it note,” I say, “It’s not yellow.” But tonight, looking back on the past few weeks, I realize: Dang, I’ve been asking for direction and I think I just felt the hand print of God on the small of my back pushing me that way. And suddenly, in that noticing, I feel two things I haven’t felt in a long while: peaceful and happy.

Will it last? Probably not. Life, and all its feelings, are fleeting. And faith untested really isn’t much faith at all. But I sure hope I can remember this moment when the demons of doubt try to tell me Post-its only come in yellow.