Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Gym Floor Moment

[I wrote this a couple of weeks ago in my private journal (Yes, I type my journal.  I often misspeak at first, and I like being able to revise until I'm actually saying what I mean.  In fact, I often discover what I mean in that process.), and decided it was the sort of thing I could post here -- heck, maybe even should.]


Today's nugget from my "St. Teresa of Avila for Every Day" book:

"God so places himself in the interior of that soul that when it returns to itself, it can in no way doubt that it was in God and God was in it."

I don't think I've ever talked about the moment I met God, to anyone, ever, and I'm not really going to here, either.  When the subject comes up, I tend to say things like:
  • "I had one of those 'conversion experiences' people talk about."
  • "God just shook me and made me listen."
  • "Well, it involved adoration and lying face-down on a gym floor in Ohio."
  • "Something happened."

I leave it at that.  If people try to get more from me, I shrug and say I can't really explain it.  This is true, in two senses.  One, I'm not sure I'm ready, even over six years later, to talk about it.  It's far too intimate a thing to chat about over coffee.

Two, I've never found the words to describe what happened that night.  It was utterly out of the realm of all my experiences up to that point, as unprecedented to me as a daisy in the arctic -- imagine suddenly seeing the brilliance of the noon sun when before that you've only ever seen fireflies. 

But I can say this, simply and to the point: in the very early morning hours of June 22nd, 2003, I knew God in a way I had not on the afternoon of the 21st.  In fact, I had not really known Him at all before that.

Imagine breathing for the first time and only then discovering there was something other than the feeling of drowning.

Even now, more than six years and a lot of valleys later, I have not forgotten one particle of the experience, a moment so powerful it wiped out all my life before that; before I knew Him, before Love overcame me and I found myself with no alternative but to bumble my way desperately forward.  It was my defining moment.

I am agonizingly aware of how far I have to go.  Certainly I am no saint and my experience pales compared to Teresa's.  The Gym Floor Moment, though, has framed all the rest of my life, the meaning of my existence, my purpose for being.  And I -- a girl with no certainty about anyone or anything on this earth at all -- have never, not once, ever, doubted it at all.

I cannot deny the sun's existence even as I feel it pouring life into me.

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