The strange moments always come during the silent periods. If there is something He wants me to realise, or to understand, He’ll always stop talking until I’ve got there and it’s taken me a couple of years to stop seeing that as an indicator that I can’t commit to something stable. He is stable, He remains who He always has been; the difference is that I’m seeing more of Him. I’m blindly groping at a different part of the elephant now, that’s all.
I haven’t come across anyone else whose struggle to identify a God that’s been ‘pinging’ them has lasted for as long as mine has. That isn’t to say that they aren’t out there, just that I haven’t found them. I wonder whether that’s to do with shame. Certainly I feel ashamed whenever it turns out I’ve been wrong about who exactly He is. I’ve known You for six years, I think, how can I not have figured this out yet? And following not too far behind that comes, You can ask me to marry You, but You can’t tell me Your name?
This struggle always exaggerates the doubts that I already have. I decide that none of this can be real. I decide that there’s no way He would have asked that if I didn’t even know what He’s called; I decide that there’s no reason He could possibly want a devotee who can’t figure out who He is, let alone a wife. And then I remember the sadness that tinged all of our interactions when I told Him no, not yet. I remember how His disappointment was tangible, I remember breathing it in while the knowledge that I’d hurt someone so very dear to me tore me to shreds. And I remember, a little later, the joy (both His and mine) when I gave Him temporary vows, told Him ‘I cannot do this thing that You have asked, but I will be Yours in this way while I mature and grow.’ I remember how the world shone, how beautiful everything suddenly became. I remember the stars dancing in the sky for me, and that at least was real.
Sometimes it’s difficult to believe these bizarre and ridiculous things that happen, and often that’s a good thing that keeps me from drifting off into a fantasy land. But I know, I remember that there are also times when I know in my bones that this is real, when He rushes through my veins like fire and I burn with His love and His fury. Right now, my life is fairly mundane. But I know that life can also be ecstatic, life can be laughing and dancing with Him under the stars, and in that knowledge I am content.
One day I will know who He is, of that I am assured.
For now, though, perhaps the mystery is it’s own path.