It was a few months ago when I came across a barber shop in a part of town I rarely drive by. I needed a cut so I stopped in, sat down, and listen to the barber make light talk with an old veteran who looked tough as nails (not the plastic ones.)
“How is your walk with The Lord,” said the young barber to his client. “It’s going well; I’m in Leviticus now.”
My ears perked up; there was a qjuiet fire in the barber’s young eyes and a certain dignity to his comportment. As it was my turn to go from grizzly bear to human, I relaxed in his chair and we talked about God.
I told him of my condition and that I’ve been searching for a church. It turns out that he is a non-denomenational pastor to a small chapel right next door to the shop. I told him I’d stop by next Sunday for service. He refused to charge me for the cut and some wonderful things happened over the next few months.
He instructed me to read the gospels – and I do so every morning; I kept at it even when I relapsed (that being an ongoing thing for over a month). I began to feel a hunger, a certain longing, to know better the God I had been praying to for well over four years. Four years, and I had no clue to whom I was praying.
Jesus continually asks for repentance in the gospels. This is not something you hear much – at least, I didn’t – in the Catholic Church growing up. I don’t commit to things easily- but my chips are all in and I began to eat up the bible as if it were spiritual food, and indeed it is.
The pastor and I sat on a beach and I began to go over my sins with him (repentance, also known as steps four through seven in other groups). Jesus, as I’d been reading was/is a healer. All my chips are in, and I’m willing to set aside my opinions in favor or becoming a born again Christian. “There is no other way to the father but through me,” I believe that was one of the many things he said intimating that indeed I can’t know my creator but through him.
They dunked me in the water and I emerged – as they put it – a new man, imued with “the great helper,” also known as “The Holy Spirit.”
I was meditating recently with a friend in the living room when – eyes closed – the wind from the wind behind became a white light, a cleansing light, and suddenly it occured to me the transient nature of things. Cars swam and disappeared into the light outside, voices trailed off into the light. All things are born in the light and then dissapear into the light and the Holy Spirit is warm and safe forever.