Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Holy Spirit has entered the building

For the second time in a week, an atheist loved one of mine has mentioned the possibility of God's existence.

This time it was my husband, who late last night followed me upstairs and sat outside the bathroom as I was doing my, uh, business.

"You know" he said, "I don't believe in the Holy Trinity or anything, but maybe there IS something bigger than us out there..."

I asked if we could discuss this after I got out of the bathroom.

Now, I must admit that one of the most painful things about being a Christian is the fact that people you love in the world sometimes aren't. It is very very difficult to see the people you love suffering. And life without God, in my mind, is the worst kind of suffering. So even at midnight last night, as my husband spoke these words, my reaction was to want to gush all over him and jump up and down and shout 'alleluia' and 'amen' loud enough for my neighbors to hear.

But I am learning to keep my mouth shut and just ask a couple of questions to allow for further discussion. Tell me more... I said. What does God mean to you? If you think you might be ready to turn stuff over to God, what does that look like? Etc. etc.

He certainly wasn't ready to fall to his knees and recite the sinner's prayer. But he acknowledged, again, his realization that the people in the world he most admires have all been people of great faith.


I pray for all those who have not yet come to know you. I pray that they learn to trust you. I pray that they open their hearts so that you may fill them with love. I pray that they will find the joy that is only truly possible through you.


Antony said...

I'll pray with you Rachel.

Rachel's Big Dunk said...

Thank you, Antony.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

For many years I was a confirmed atheist. Then for many I was thinking like Nguyen, and some righteous folk (as in righteousness of Christ) prayed for me for a long time. I asked questions, I wanted it to be true, but alas I did not have any faith. Then one day suddenly, there it was, my very own mustard seed.

Sometime later I read a wonderful book that talks about faith as a gift of God. The 'proof' is something along the lines of trying to convince yourself there is an elephant in your pocket. Try as hard as you like, you cannot make yourself believe it is there! It was comforting and helped me to think differently about those who do not share my faith...if you are interested, I will find it for you.

Many blessings!

Rachel's Big Dunk said...

Hi Amy,

I would love to read it!

And what an amazing path you have walked, from atheist, to seminary. Wow.

I am grateful to hear that prayer helped you, too.


Mary Beth said...

Amen! Alleluia!

(I can shout, cause he can't hear me!)

I'm praying for you both. Keeping one's mouth shut at the right times can be one of the hardest loving acts ever committed.

Especially when you are RIGHT...!

Rachel's Big Dunk said...

Keeping MY mouth shut is probably harder than for most people. I just love to hear myself talk. But this is a case where spiritual direction has been such a blessing. Before I start to yammer on, I think to myself: What would Fr. P say right now?

It helps, LOL!

(Thanks, Fr. P!)

Anonymous said...

Funny thing about your own path... when you are walking it, mostly you see the dirt as you try not to stumble up the hill, but when you turn around... you are stunned by the immense sky that you should have spent more time looking at.

My strength to keep travelling comes from the same place as Paul's - that His grace to me will not be in vain. (I love it here at the Dunk because I 'hear' this often even though I think you don't always realize you are saying it!)

I will dig up the book and send it to the school yard. FYI it is: Living Faith While Holding Doubts by Martin B. Copenhaver. His treatment of scripture is a bit casual for my taste, so be forewarned. I look forward to your comments!

15 pages of writing to go to the end of semester...

SingingOwl said...

Oh oh oh...I am behind on blog reading so I just saw this.



And I am praying...and I'll keep praying.

Rachel's Big Dunk said...

Thanks Singing Owl!

It is just a mustard seed at this point, but as Amy said, that is all it takes.

(Hmmmm, I wonder if that means Nguyen will end up in Seminary some day!?!?!? What a thought!!!)