Thursday, February 17, 2011
Quote of the Week
“I consoled myself with the thought that over time he would probably mellow and come to realize that religion wasn’t about experience, but working toward perfection.” WINDKNOCKER by Bud Malby
These words stirred my soul when I read them, so I marked the spot with a gum wrapper continuing to read. After I finished the novel, I went back to the spot skimming over the page until I came to the sentence. To understand the quote, you need a little background. The person telling the story is a priest of the Catholic faith. He is a good man. The person he believes will eventually mellow is his best friend from childhood. When they were fourteen, the friend was born again and believed God knocked the wind into him, the wind of the Holy Spirit, hence the name of the book, WINDKNOCKER.
Many Christians of all denominations believe we must be perfect. We judge one another. “Can you believe she yelled at her kid? She isn’t a good Christians.” What is worse, non-believers also believe Christians must be perfect. If they see one isn’t, they believe them to be hypocrites giving them the excuse not to see what this faith is all about. One person whom I love dearly with all my heart told me, “I will not go to church and sit with those hypocrites.” Granted, there are wolves sitting in the pews dressed in sheep’s clothing. Jesus warned us about this. I don’t deny it. I do deny that any of us are perfect. We work hard to do what is right in the eyes of God, but we come short of that mark.
What is this experience that he mentions though? Is religion about experience? It has been for me. Throughout my life, I have had meaningful experiences. This is what shows me God is with me on a moment by moment basis even if I don’t feel it. I have had the wind knocked into me at different youth rallies, church services, masses, and retreats. But my experiences haven’t just been at religious functions. I felt God’s presence with me a number of times when my husband was in a war zone in Iraq. I prayed for a safe journey one winter with my infant son. I just had a feeling something could go wrong, so I prayed and prayed. I thanked God when we arrived home safely. The next morning my pickup had a flat tire. Many Christians and non-believers alike would say this is just a coincidence, I say differently.
Religion is about striving to be the best person God wants us to be. Religion is also about seeking experiences with God. Does the priest ever get visited by the Windknocker? You will have to read the book to find out. Have you been visited? I hope you have.
Blessings to you all.