I remember asking, ”Who is God?” Again and again, I’ve pondered this; tonight I ask it again.
The little girl on her knees, four-years-old, folded hands and eyes closed, reciting a prayer on the floor of the church.
The child, feeling grown up, collecting money in an Easter egg basket, filling little cans full of quarters and dimes, bringing them to Sunday school for the missionaries’ fund.
The one whose braids almost met her waist, who prayed every night for her Dad to believe and her friends’ parents not to get a divorce.
The ten-year-old girl, feeling displaced in a big old church, missing her friends from the old one, wondering if she could really feel at home here.
The girl-turning-woman, Sunday School helper, nursery attendant, GEMS leader, greeter, friendly smile, cookie-maker, role model.
The one in the dress as white as snow, up on the stage, lacy pink shrug covering her shoulders, long brown hair down about her, reciting her testimony in front of a crowded church, saying ‘I do,’ hugging people and receiving cards over Black Forest cake.
That crazy girl with messy braids and bright pink shorts, running with children on her back, hammering and painting, fumbling out Spanish and smiling a lot, learning that God loves her, learning to trust, believe, and love.
The teenager on the verge of what she thinks is love, spending her nights on the phone gabbing out issues of God, callings, and marriage; the heartbroken one, wondering how God could not give her the first love she wanted.
The one who has lost, the one who phones a number with only an answering machine falling along empty walls, who loses passion for everything; the one who is found, the one who grows through suffering, the one whom God has breathed life back into.
The girl who graduated with a pretty purple dress and friends by her side, whose speech was about God and ‘running the good race,’ who thought she was so strong in her faith, and thought she knew what ‘good’ Christians did and didn’t and knew she would do what it took, never guessing the lies she believed.
And now she sits in the Old Testament class, the same girl who prayed a simple prayer on her knees at four, the same girl who said she knew nothing but thought she knew everything just a year ago, listening, thinking, asking questions, wondering if she really knows God as well as she thought.
The quest for God does not end — in this life or the next.