Earlier today I accidentally said “I love you” to a friend before hanging up the phone. He said it back, and it didn’t seem to phase him, but to me at least, it’s still a little awkward. He has a fiance, and he knows I don’t “like” him in that way, but I don’t think I’ve ever said that to him. It was just automatic. I say “I love you” to certain people when I hang up the phone. It’s just a little weird for me because I used to have a crush on him, and I don’t know if he knows that. Furthermore, he’s been my guitar teacher, a spiritual mentor, and for a short time, my boss. For the record, he was calling to reschedule my violin lesson because he’s commandeering my lesson room to work on a recording project with another client and the studio needs to be quiet. I’ve been told I make an awful lot of noise.
Earlier this morning I had a little talk with God. I’ve been trying to let him drive, and in doing that, I’ve been trying to figure out what he needs me to be doing. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I don’t entirely control my own fate. My Muscular Dystrophy keeps me from doing a lot of what I would consider “heroic” things. I’m not a hero in the way I would like. For a long time I’ve thought of myself as a minor character in someone else’s story, though whose I’m not sure. I’ve thought that I’ll always be the harmony to someone else’s melody. You get the idea. This morning I had a different thought. I’ve been trying to be the main character in a story that isn’t mine. I have to figure out what my story is.
There is a part of me that has always wanted to counter evil. I’ve never entirely figured out how. There are a lot of reasons for this. I’m still financially unstable, I’m not physically capable of doing a lot of things, and admittedly, I have short attention span, among other things. The leaders in the Church, and people all over the world and all over the internet emphasize the power of prayer. I know it works. I’ve seen miracles happen, but I’m impatient, and it seems counter-intuitive to think that just asking for something means you will get it, even if it’s not in the way you had imagined.
My story will never be a grand epic. At least I don’t imagine it will be. This morning I told God that there are important problems in this world that I just don’t and can’t care about. One simply cannot care about every single world problem. We’d all fall apart if we did. I care the most about two things: the salvation of my friends, and the destruction of ISIS–eventually, an ultimate end to war. Neither of these things are easy to achieve, and I’m not sure how much I can do about the second issue.
I’ve been trying to understand the Holy Spirit a bit more, and I’ve come to realize that he doesn’t give power to humans, at least not in the way we think. The way I understand it is that in this world that God has created, there is a physical realm and a spiritual realm. God can work in and manipulate both on his own, but in the physical realm, he often prefers to use physical means of doing things. He uses people to get his work done. He doesn’t give us power. He uses us as vessels of his power. I’m hesitant to say he works through us because to me that sounds like he kind of works around us, which isn’t exactly true. What I’m trying to explain is that we can’t just do whatever we want with the power that he gives us. It’s only “helpful” if we follow his lead.
I’ve been praying about it for at least three years now, but I constantly have to remind myself that I can’t save my friends. Not only that, but God can’t save them unless they choose to believe. Changing the spiritual opinions of five very smart, very opinionated people is not an easy task. I just wish I could get inside their heads and figure out what keeps them from believing. I’ve only been a Christian for five years or so, but I can’t imagine going through life, especially going all through college and adulthood not knowing that I’m being cared for and that, no matter what, everything is going to be okay. If nothing else, it makes me so much more comfortable with the fact that the future is uncertain, at least from my point of view.
I became Christian when I accidentally said “I love you” to God. I believed in his existence before I knew him, and I prayed about things with increasing frequency, especially after my first semester at a Christian college. I’m starting to think that that accidental “I love you” means something. “I love you” is something you say when you’re being your most honest and your most vulnerable. Come to think of it, I’ve been saying it to my closest friends more overall lately. I often find myself hesitating to say it because it’s corny, or because I question whether it’s an appropriate thing to say in certain situations, but I’m starting to think that life is too short, and you should never hold back those words.
I will never be the hero in a traditionally epic story, but there are five lost souls that I could have a hand in finding. Whether or not a story is important or interesting is largely a matter of semantics. The size and actual scope of this story seems small, and I haven’t taken a close enough look at what’s at stake. The setting of this story is largely in words on the internet, in my house, and in our heads. I’m not taking up arms against demons, and I’m not magically saving anyone. It’s not a story I would likely read. It’s my story nonetheless, and I will gladly be its hero. That accidental “I love you” is my weapon. I am God’s ambassador to the dark souls of my friends. I can do that because I’ve studied theology and philosophy and writing. I know how to debate, and most importantly, I know how to love.
Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!