When I was old enough, they told me God is everywhere.
"He sees all your sins and keeps track." My CCD instructor informed me.
"Like Santa?" I asked.
"Uh, like Santa," she replied. "Except if you're bad, instead of getting coal, you'll go to hell."
That afternoon, I found an empty mason jar, took a hammer and one nail and went out into the back yard.
Pounding the nail through the lid, I punctured several holes. My parents must have thought I was preparing for one of my great insect hunting expeditions. Instead, I screwed the cap on tight and tucked the empty jar under my arm.
no secret that I was an odd child, creating my own set of cursive numbers and possessing an odd form of dyslexia that forced my parents to read my compositions by mirror image. .
I took that jar with me to school the next day for show and tell. My parents asked nothing of me as I sat eating my sugar soaked Kix. On the playground, my peers approched me with inquiries pertaining to the contents of this mysterious jar. My teacher wondered if my subject had escaped. I only showed my pursed smile to hide my silver capped front tooth and waited patiently for my turn.
I set the jar under my chair. Paper of color spilled forth from the pelican metal desk and I watched the morning sun paint the shadow of the weeping willow in the parking lot onto the linolium floor. Faded construction paper flowers were taped to the window to symbolize spring and their shadows streatched out beyond size, throughout the room.
These were the days of headache and psychological tests for me. I had migraines induced by violent television shows and my hyperactivity combined with eccentricities made me a target for study. I was asked by school officials and my parents to "Cooperate with the school social workers". Tests were administered and concluded nothing except I was like any other seven year old.
When my turn came and I brought that jar up to the front of the class, my leather and metal leg braces clunking. I held The Jar high above my head. My peers chuckled. I was absurd. I was an attention getter. I began to blush.
"For show and tell today, I brought in GOD."
"God is everywhere. I learned this in Church yesterday and he is in this jar and I brought him in for show and tell.
"How come we can't see him?" Erin S. asked. She was way out of my league and still is. I hadn't the slightest idea why you couldn't see God. I was stumped and uttered the only logical solution.
"Because God is invisible." Oohs and Ahhs followed and I stretched my lips to my glowing, oversized red ears and sat down. Hoping I had impressed Erin.
My parents received a call that evening and I had to meet with the counselor later in the week. I was forced to keep God under my bed. I don't know how long I kept that jar under my twin bed, but I remember praying to it. I needed a symbol, something tangible to hold when I prayed. As time progressed, I lost thought of the jar, I lost thought of prayer. For most of my life I only prayed under and within circumstances of helplessness or great need. Apparently, God was there.
Recently I began affirming my beliefs. Not necessarily in a deity or by being a pious, moral son of God but by wishing good will on the world. I convinced my friends and family that I was still secure and strong and that I loved them and thought about them every day. I said to them,
"If you ever feel alone, know that I am with you and I believe in you. I am patient. I will never give up."
I look people in the eye. I try not to judge. I find God and implore God to let the natural teeter totter go. It's time for some good things to happen. I'm tired of being tired in this world. I pray for peace.