Through the Car-Wash With God
by Lori Heine
A friend of mine recently described an exhilarating experience. Okay, for most people it would be quite mundane. She just gets excited very easily. She’s also deeply spiritual. Her first trip through an automatic car-wash – inside the car – was a “God” moment for her.
“All those brushes were brushing,” she recalled. “The soapy water was splashing. And there I was…right in the middle of it! This is such fun, I thought. I wonder if God knows how much I’m enjoying it?”
“Of course God knew how much you enjoyed it,” I told her. I’m a little less excitable than she is – perhaps somewhat more logical. “God was right there in that car with you.”
She paused to reflect on that. “That’s true,” she said. “God’s right there with each one of us, every moment of our lives.”
God was with the caveman who discovered fire, sharing the thrill of his discovery. “He” was with Cleopatra, when she first realized she was in love with Mark Antony. In those final, desperate moments, God was with the last passenger who went down aboard the Titanic. And God is with each of us in all our moments of triumph, joy, doubt and terror.
There is nothing more frustrating, for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, than being misunderstood. Being told we “chose” our orientation, or that we don’t care about God. How do we make others understand the truth about who we are? How do we keep those who may be undecided about us from believing the wrong things that are said about us?
It’s easy to fall into the trap of mistaking what is said, by people who claim to speak for God, for God’s own opinion. Lots of those in our community reject faith in God because they make this error. People say God doesn’t love us, that God condemns us, that we are evil, or that we are mistakes. They don’t realize how intensely God loves us. How intimately “He” travels through each of our lives with us.
When my friend’s husband took her car through the automatic wash, he forgot and left the moon roof open. God got soaked right along with him. God cries, “Whee!” when we do. “He” can also identify when – soapy water blasting through the open moon roof, we yell, “What the heck?!”
When my parents took four-year-old me to see the movie, Snow White, and I fell madly in love with Snow White, God understood my confusion. “He” knew I wondered why I hadn’t fallen for the prince, instead. Those who don’t know me may think I’m some decadent hedonist, given up for damnation by God. But God knows better, because “He’s” been with me all along.
When thirty-four-year-old me decided, at long last, to come out as a lesbian, I prayed that God would stay with me. I have felt “Him” with me, every step of the way, since.
© 2013 Lori Heine
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