God Singer

I choose to think my son was serious about his spiritual need when he told me about the visit with the Chaplain. Since that time, Chris has gone through his inpatient evaluation, slept, eaten, slept and tried to read a page of The Road Less Traveled, which Chaplain Tom gave to him. Chris didn’t make it to church that day. I don’t know why I thought he’d keep that promise–he can’t even go to an NA or AA meeting. Or maybe he won’t go to any of it.
I have the feeling he is resisting treatment. Maybe he’s simply afraid.
Change is hard on any of us. We’re all so afraid. Afraid we won’t make it, won’t be good enough. Afraid God may not make it to where we are.
And yet I have found God when I was scared. I’ve been awed and speechless at the times when I least deserved to be admitted to where God was singing. Last week in church, feeling a touch of self-pity because Chris hadn’t made it there with me, I sang the old hymn, “Immortal, Invisible,” and the oddest thing happened.
I stood outside myself, outside everything. God and I, holding hands, watched the whole black universe shrink to a tiny dot. A singularity? I wanted to ask, but somehow to do so seemed as inappropriate as ringing cell phones in a movie theater.
The universe then re-expanded and the stars rushed past, back to their places. Instead of only holding God’s hand, I was sort of with God, in God, around, through and part of God in a way that sounds sort of New Agey but wasn’t. Suddenly shame and sorrow and regrets shriveled in front of my eyes. God sang, and every note of the song broke me, like a crystal goblet shattered by the high notes of an aria. I didn’t want or need anything.
This only lasted long enough for me to recognize that here I was, insignificant, dangerously clueless me, right in God’s arms. I wasn’t “in” God, like a bump on God’s big toe, as much as I became immersed in God. And as soon as I pled with myself never to leave, always to remain right there with God, the whole experience evaporated. I came to at the last verse of “Immortal,” and I couldn’t sing because my throat was thick with tears and joy. I thought of my son, struggling to beat this awful meth addiction, stuck in his own self-lies on his way to church. I hope you read the Road Less Traveled, Chris. On your journey, may you find that place where God sings your name.

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About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

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