A break from my regular nonsense for one of those important memories.
I’m not going to recount the entire story in a fresh writing—I am happy to provide a link to the copied MySpace post that I wrote O, so many years ago—but today is that special day when I remind myself that it wasn’t so long ago that I took a strange journey where, to this day, I’m pretty sure I heard my mother giving me a nudge from beyond the grave.
I have a lot of friends who reject the idea of an afterlife. There are still more that reject the idea that we’re anything more than a collection of random chances that shook out in a cacophony of bones and blood.
I don’t have any problem with that. I love them all and hope that at least some of them are aggravated by the fact that I pray for them. But I understand their point of view to be sure.
I’ve engaged in a number of conversations over the years (and read a lot of books) that argued the reason for faith is because it’s simpler. It’s reductive and dismissive, but it’s not the point of this post for me to take that specific matter to task.
I’ll always take the moment, though, to quote the exchange between John Locke and Jack from LOST in the episode “Man of Science, Man of Faith“:
Locke: Why do you find it so hard to believe?
Jack: Why do you find it so easy?
Locke: It’s never been easy!
I heard my mother that day, in the darkness.
There were a lot of things happening then, some with which I grapple still. Some are ways I failed and others are things that I never expected.
But through all of it was that voice. As I floated in pitch black I heard the only voice that, honestly, to which I would have listened. I can remember the moment as if it happened yesterday.
Tonight I held her granddaughters and realized everything I could have missed since then.
Am I an important man? No, I am not. Am I an historical man? Never will there be a statue made of me, so far as I can tell.
So why on Earth would I be lucky enough to receive that moment, that lifted the veil so I could see the world again?
I don’t know! I hope to ask some day.
Part of me says it’s because these girls are so special that I have to be there to help and shepherd them. Another part says, so that I can tell the story at least once a year to say that I am a man of reasonable intelligence who embraces science and God. It doesn’t need to be an either/or.
Have I failed at times since? I sure have. I’m only human, I fail all the time. But so long as I can remember my anchoring moment I’ll never stop trying to be better.
I’m very grateful to have this chance to keep trying to make it right. To keep trying to help those who need it through charity and live an example that others might find interesting at the very least.
Everything else is just static.