Today, I went looking for God. I paused after writing that last sentence because it seems so ridiculous to read it on my screen. But, I did in fact go looking for God today.
Mi mind woke me up around 7 AM and instead of going back to sleep, I put on my shoes and went walking through the streets of DC. It turns out that life is sometimes confusing and a walk through the streets that give me inspiration is what I needed.
I turned my back on the church shortly after being able to grow a mustache, but today, I had forgotten why. Maybe my life would be complete if I went to the place mi madre and abuela go for answers. Maybe I would feel better if I lit a candle and dipped my fingers in holy water. Maybe God would give me a sign of some kind.
So, I got my bearings and walked to the nearest Catholic church. When I walked in I was amazed at how many people were in the cathedral. People were standing all along the sides because there were no more seats. God was muy popular on this brisk Sunday morning. Then, I looked again. I was wearing the same jeans and shirt that were worn the night before. The men in this church were not wearing jeans.
In fact, they were all wearing their suits and ties, while their women wore elegant church-like dresses. I was wearing tennis shoes and hair that had not been brushed since the previous evening. I felt out of place. Out of place in the house of God. I felt as if I were not worthy to be in the same house of God as the men with suits.
In my shame I looked up at the beautiful vaulted ceilings and noted the many paintings of white saints whose names I did not know adorned with gold plated squares. Gold in the house of God. So much gold in a house that exists to praise the creator. Suits, ties, white saints and gold. Why?
Does God care if you wear a suit to reach out to him? Does God care if you polish your shoes to walk to him? Does God care for his house to be littered with Gold? Not my God.
My God doesn’t require you to have anything. He doesn’t care if you have one, ten, or zero suits. He doesn’t require gold to be praised. He doesn’t require a house to be praised. My God is there when I feel the warmth of a sun ray on a brisk Sunday morning. He is there when I smile at the sight of my entire family seated at the breakfast table. He is there when I say a little prayer of thanks for mi vida. My God is everywhere. A church is not required.
I decided to leave the church after twenty minutes. I instinctively put my fingers into a marble containter for some holy water to be sprinkled on my head. It was empty. I shook my head and laughed to myself as I heard heads turn to see who was leaving church so early.
As I walked away from the church I turned around and smiled. Then, I turned my back on the church for the second time in my life. This time, however, I knew why.