When he said humans were co-creators with God, it felt like coming alive, like live wires sparking. And I looked out the window and thought of all we had made and would make. The world we could shape.
But it isn’t only about what we assemble. Our identity is also a creation and the process is one in which we are intimately engaged with God. This creation -it’s our vocation. It’s the work of our soul and it is only with God and through God that we are ever able to shed the layers and lay bare on the altar.
This is how we engage with the Mystery and this is where I find myself now.
For ten years I was absent.
Not once did I attend mass or a service of any kind. Not even for the “big holidays.”
And yet already this week I have gone twice. When it is still dark and the air is sharp, I make my way to the church on the top of hill. It looms over the city and for the years I have lived here, it has loomed over me too.
Opening its doors felt both familiar and strange. The creak of wooden pews, the rustling of pages. The quiet anticipation.
More than once I found myself overwhelmed and in tears. Sure, there was joy and adoration and forgiveness. And the church itself -well, it’s more a cathedral. Who could sit there and not help but feel small? My mind drifted to those peasants, the first to enter the cathedrals of Europe, and I thought myself at that moment a peasant too. The walls, the windows, the light all spoke of God’s grace and magnificence.
I looked down at the dirt on my shoes.
As I walked out, that old injury aching in my knee, I felt confused.
Here is the Church I grew up in, the Church that has housed us for generations.
All of the questions and struggles of these past few years and for what? To have come full circle, back to where it all started?
So far I have avoided labeling myself but here I am caught somewhere between Catholic and Protestant. Not really wanting to give up one for the other, unable to reconcile the present with the past.
I felt alone. Lost.
Someone followed me out and I heard their steps behind as I descended the stairs. Me, limping. Him, more spry. And I thought to myself this isn’t unique to you. You aren’t alone in this. Haven’t we all wrestled with God and now walk with holy, clumsy limps? Aren’t we all Jacobs?
Our vocation, it’s work. We were never promised it would be easy or that it would come easily to us. Most of the time we aren’t even sure what exactly we’re grappling with. But we wrestle with it all the same because what else can we do?
If I find Him I will find myself and if I find my true self I will find Him…