“She say, Celie, tell the truth, have you ever found God in church? I never did. I just found a bunch of folks hoping for him to show. Any God I ever felt in church I brought in with me. And I think all the other folks did too. They come to church to share God, not find God.”
– Alice Walker, The Color Purple
I think there are a few truths that are certain.
That life is full of pain.
That life is full of joy.
And that life is really funny.
Certainly, you can file ‘funny’ under joy, but I believe that it is its own form of spirituality. I believe Anne Lamott says that laughter is a ‘bubbly effervescent form of holiness.’
You have to understand, that writing about pain is important. I think some folks imagine me sitting, all Poe like, hunched over a dark writing desk with a human skull as my muse.
In reality, I am only exploring the things that allow me to feel shitty.
A mean customer.
A drunken man.
Then there is a group of people beheading prisoners on a beach.
There’s another man testing nuclear missiles for fun.
There’s a woman on death row in Georgia who is close to a dear friend of mine.
Daily, I allow myself to take in the human condition. I hear people talk about money. People with six digits still stressing about the world and their things and I digress. Those are not my problems.
Yes, I cook.
But I also empty trash cans and mop floors. I have plenty of time to think.
I chose to cook.
I choose to serve, and I keep choosing a life where my hands bleed and my bones ache.
I can’t help but to think these things are hilarious, too.
I laugh a lot.
Probably at things I shouldn’t. Whatever that means.
But also at things that deserve a good belly laugh.
I think, if God does reside in the Heavens, they laugh often. And with their bellies.
I also know, that if God resides in the Heavens, they also cry.
I don’t believe you can measure any of this. Amounts of pain or joy. Considering they are building blocks of a day. When we’re not doing our jobs to help grow our businesses or make the places we are, better than they used to be.
Last night, I came home late from a catering job.
I’d say there was a lot of pain in yesterday. Both mental and physical. I wanted nothing more than to forget about it, but instead I came home, sank into my couch and decompressed. Granted, a few episodes of Parks and Rec and another late night wanderer made my world a little softer.
If there’s one thing, among many things that I know to be true, is that dignity covers our scrapes and bruises. It helps to wash away the ever-pressing job of being fully human in this wonderful and heartbreaking world.
At the end of the day, I resonate with those very first words from Alice. That what we are looking for, is each other.
Mother Teresa also said that we belong to each other. More so, that if we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
So, I am ready.
To dissolve into you, because you are the face of God.
and for all I know, I’m always standing on holy ground.