As it often does, the lunch time conversation turned to religion. We each talked about the different ways we were raised in our faiths, our pitfalls along the way, the different beliefs we’ve held over the years. I mentioned my disappointment over the fact that I couldn’t recall having one of those big faith moments that so many people have experienced. You know the ones – those moments when someone clearly hears God speaking, or sees Him in the everyday surroundings, or simply has a defining moment when His presence is undeniably felt. I said that maybe it’s a failure on my own part that I haven’t had one of those moments. Either way, it contributes to my struggle with religion.
I wanted to lighten the mood, so I relayed an experience I had just last night. I was reading. Mark was watching t.v. and opening mail. I hadn’t been minding my husband, but he caught my attention when I heard him say, “Oh that was freaky! This is freaking me out! Look at this!”
I looked up to find him holding a sheet of paper in front of me that looked like this:
“Just stare into His eyes,” Mark told me. “Stare at them for a few minutes and you’ll see them open!”
So I stared.
And I stared.
And I stared some more.
I could literally feel my heart sink. His eyes didn’t open for me. I was sure it was a sign of my failure to be strong in my faith.
“His eyes aren’t opening for me,” I sort of whined to Mark.
“Just keep looking. They’ll open.”
I stared more. I knew what this was. I’ve seen plenty of optical illusions in my time. I couldn’t make this one work.
“I can’t see it,” I said to Mark, feeling defeated. And then I Googled the image to see what my failure said about me.
I explained to my coworkers that I was relieved to see that according to Google, this illusion was unanimously seen as a scam. The picture comes to you by mail. When you see the eyes of Jesus open, you are amazed and filled with awe. And this will make you want to follow the enclosed instructions and send your prayer requests (and some moolah!) to the designated church, which only exists as a P.O. box. Some “pastor” is getting rich off this scam. But he’s getting nada from me because the miracle failed to materialize for me.
My coworkers wanted to see the image that had me so bothered, so after lunch, I passed on a link. Thus ensued the following instant message conversation:
I’d like to think God has a sense of humor. I sure hope so because this had me laughing harder today than I’ve laughed in … I don’t know … a long time! And I’ve really been feeling like I could use a laugh lately. My coworkers sensed my feelings of worry over a silly mailing and took it upon themselves to make me see the lighter side of it. And anyone who has coworkers like mine would surely feel blessed!
Have I learned anything from this experience? Yes. I can find God wherever I think I might find him. It doesn’t have to be where others tell me he should be found.