Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bonding with God

My Mother came over today to watch Madelynn. When I got home, Mum and Mady were on the floor together, rolling around and playing with a stuffed pig. I think they bonded today.

I'm sure my first bonding experience with my Mother took place right after birth, but the one that I remember most was only a few Thanksgivings ago. We had been visiting my sister in North Carolina for the holiday, and it was just the two of us in the car on the way home, an eight hour trip. We had sat through construction, bitching about the slow crawl of traffic. We stopped at rest stops and giggled at the random stuff that they sell in those little shops connected to Cracker Barrel. We sang oldies at the top of our lungs, and belted out country songs that I knew from when I was a kid. Back on the road after a break, the sky opened. Rain came down in sheets too fast for windshield wipers. Mack trucks pulled off the road as far as they could but were impossible to see. Drivers panicked, trying to switch lanes blindly. I think we almost died a minimum of twelve times before we were able to safely pull over. With the car still, we were both shaking. Shaking and crying, doing that nervous little laugh that everyone does when absolutely nothing funny has happened, the laugh of people lucky to still be alive. We didn't talk to each other, but we both talked to God. She thanked him out loud while I silently apologized for every wrong thing I had ever done, every lie I told, every church sermon that I rolled my eyes at. And then we hugged.

But that wasn't the bonding moment. When the rain had stopped, the sky still looked angry as hell. We drove on, both of us obviously nervous, both of us still praying, both of us doing it out loud this time. We were on a mountain, and the only thing separating us from what looked like a ten-thousand foot drop was a flimsy guard rail. And then the sky really did open. The clouds cleared in seconds, the sun shone through in streams, and there was an absolutely perfect rainbow that started on the plain below us, and ended somewhere behind us. And then there was another, smaller, but still complete, perfect rainbow right in front of us. I can't describe the scene, it was too amazing, too perfect. A picture would not do it justice. It was... amazing. We saw God. My Mother and I, mouths dropped wide open from what we were experiencing, saw God.

That scene, those rainbows, the light on that mountain and the land below, were the only things that we could talk about the rest of the way home. For three hours, we talked about the beauty that we saw, we talked about God, we talked about how small we really are. For three hours we marveled at how we could go from being completely terrified, to having no fear, to feeling complete and safe. We were in total awe of the greatness, a greatness that we had never been permitted to witness before. We cried, we laughed, and we thanked Him again and again.

As awful as the ordeal was when the rain was falling, as scared as I was, I would give just about anything to travel back to that place, to see that magnificence, and to experience it with my Mother.

But of course that can never happen. My Mother and I had that moment. It was shared and now it is gone, never to be seen again, but never to be forgotten. I pray often that Madelynn and I will someday be able to experience an event such as this. We will bond in many ways, as we are bonding now, more and more every day. But the day that we are able to look at the sky, or across the water, or through the tunnel and see the most inspiring thing that makes our minds go blank and our hearts feel too full, will be the day that we truly know each other. I believe wholeheartedly that God will show Himself to us, when we least expect any grace, and I hope and pray that we are paying attention if He decides to let us see Him again.

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