When God spoke to me
Sometimes I shy away from writing about personal matters. I hope it does not jeopardise the ideas you have of my work on this blog if I were to allow myself, for this once, to alight from the platform of reason to tell you about my previous relationship with God. I also hope you won’t doubt my sincerity when I admit that I was once “in a relationship with God”, because even to me He felt so real that I would have thought it foolish, at the time, to deny the truth of His presence.
Not long after they had buried Nicholas in the earth, that they had gone through with the formality of lowering his casket, and had promised me that his soul had long fled to the kingdom of better angels (as if to reassure me that the purpose of the little box wasn’t so as to suffocate him), the reality of his absence began, in very small doses, to sink in. The first few hours and days were the strangest to me, because then loss hadn’t remotely begun to feel like loss, and sadness was only inflicted upon me by the sight of other people grieving, that I felt obliged to grieve with them — and I must have been that peculiar child who was always slowest to react to uncomfortable situations, that only until after the others had stopped mourning, after the school had paid its tribute, and after the church had said its prayers, that I began to feel it proper to grieve out of my own volition.
Some days later I braved to return to sleeping in my own bedroom. During the day it would have been easy for me to convince myself that the worst was over, but night was not as kind, and the absence of my roommate less so. I remember burrowing under the blanket as if to minimise the empty void around me, and taking regular trips to the toilet (which actually became a habit of mine for some months to follow). It was in one of these dark and sleepless nights, spent alone, that God came and comforted me. He beckoned me (not physically) to come out from underneath the blanket, and He reassured me that everything would be all right.
When God spoke to me, I chose to believe Him with all my heart. I didn’t understand why it had to happen, only that it did happen, and that I could be at peace in the knowledge that He, too, was aware of its happening. But it wasn’t for me to understand His ways, nor to question His will. My duty was in faith, not in negotiation for the return of what was mine which had since been lost, but rather — in anticipation of what greater things can and will be gained when the time is right. The Bible teaches me that our lives are but transient, and those who part first shall be reunited with us in the kingdom of His glory, and never again will they be separated from us. Believing this, I pledged to remember God’s kindness, to remember how He appeared to me when I needed Him most, as I still remember it now, and as I will for as long as I may live.
When I say as I often do that losing God was the greatest casualty following my eventual loss of faith, I actually meant the second greatest. For the greatest casualty had to be the cold truth that I may never be reunited with Nick again; or worse, that he never went to be an angel in heaven, but that he simply expired, as all living things do in the end. I find no real comfort in this view of life, but only a humble reminder that for all the time we have left on this earth, we should hold our loved ones near and dear, as tightly as we can, and do nothing that we think might ever hurt them. For these things, however insignificant, we will come to regret when they are gone; and by these and greater things they, too, must hope to remember us, one day when we are gone also.