Stormy God

2006. Science Class.

Mrs. Oliver spoke blandly as she turned to the TV which hung above out heads like a stormy cloud waiting to release its downpour. It glared brightly in the darkened room as it told the story of thousands of years from now when the moon will slowly drift elsewhere like a wayward child ambling away from its mother and the sun will implode upon itself destroying everything in its path. Mrs. Oliver quietly typed away at her computer, oblivious to the movie that shocked me to my very core.

That starry night, I could not fall asleep with any amount of effort. In my awkward steps, I slowly traversed the world of after bedtime to find my father working silently in the cool low lit garage. I tentatively spoke up to explain to him why I was here standing on the cold concrete floor instead of upstairs in my softly tousled bed. Wincing as I told him of the horrific movie, I asked him what to do.

“Believe in God. He will get you through anything. He will protect you. Peace be still,” were his words to me.

“I’ve never seen God though. Who is He? I know the bible wasn’t written by him, but simply by old men from the past. Plus it’s been revised a million times. Why should I believe in a God that gives me no proof?”

Pausing to digest my words, my father continued to praise God even though his words started to lose their credibility to me. I went back to my musty room, unsatisfied and still upset.

Six years ago, my family lived in a radically different place. Religion wasn’t highly valued though spirituality was tangible in the air. Without a strict church around, people gathered together in a meeting, singing and sharing their personal spiritual experiences. Growing up around these loose beliefs enabled me to dwell no more deeply than what Disney movie to watch that day. My personal beliefs were airy and unfound until the movie that shifted the axis of my whole world to dive deeply into thought about implosions, death, and God.

These unsettling thoughts forced me downstairs nightly. Exasperatedly conversing with me every night led my mother to try to distract my wandering mind. She would tell me to relaz and mentally tour Disneyworld, the exotic lands in Epcot, the sweet tang of a lemon shake-up on a hot day, the softly cooling mist sticking lightly on my skin from the fans. Running away from the panic-inducing thoughts became my expertise as it still is today. Even as the movie slowly drifts away from me in time, the events continually affect interactions with people who speak so lovingly of their God, all from the experiences of an eleven-year old girl trying to find out about the world and where she fits in.





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