The Crooked Path to God
by the Reverend Noel E. Bordador

"But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."

- Matthew 7:14

I attended a eucharistic celebration at Maryhouse, a house of hospitality where catholic Christians- in a radical way- share their lives with the poor, homeless, and sick. I was there to commemorate the life of Dorothy Day, one of the founders of the Catholic Worker movement that spawned such houses of hospitality throughout the world. Dorothy Day is now a candidate for sainthood.

Dorothy did not start as a pious believing Christian. In fact, in her early days, she flirted with Communism, and was an anarchist. She was at first an agnostic if not an atheist. This past summer, I read a letter of hers which she penned when she was much older and already a convert. She wrote a letter to a young woman who attempted to take her own life and Dorothy wrote to console her and give her hope that she could still rebuild her life by God's grace.

In that letter, Dorothy shared something of herself. Dorothy said that when she was younger she fell in love deeply with a man who knew how much she loved him. The man loved her body but not her soul. Once Dorothy became pregnant, the man said he would not have anything to do with her unless she got rid of the infant in her womb. That she did, but the man abandoned her anyway, and this devastated Dorothy that she attempted to take her own life. But for reasons known only to God, Dorothy lived and shortly met people who led her back to Christ whom she had previously ignored.

I tell you this story because while we are different from Dorothy, I believe that for many of us our experience of our journey to God is somehow like Dorothy's. What I mean is that for many of us, the path to God is not always a straight path. The path to God is not always as smooth as we want it to be. Sometimes there are multiple detours, crooked paths full of potholes before we "arrive" near God. The path to God is perhaps often rough for many of us. Sometimes, we are wearied with the journey.

The Good News of Advent and Christmas is that God will meet us where we are in our journey. God is not at the end of the journey but is with us in our journeys, alongside with us. When we find ourselves in crooked paths and rough places in life, God will come and will make our crooked ways straight and the rough places of life plain. God seeks us out to be born in our lives so that we ourselves will be born into a new life where we will be less wounded and will cease to be wounding to others.

We joyfully read today from the Song of Zechariah: "In the tender compassion of our God, the dawn from on high shall break upon us to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death and to guide our feet into the way of peace."

If there is crookedness in you that you want to straighten out, if there are rough places in your lives that you would like to smooth out, if there is darkness in yourselves, or the fear of the shadow of death, open up the highway to yourselves and let God enter in. Make straight in the arid desert of your lives a highway for God to come in and work his grace in you. Invite him today. Invite him now. Say "Lord Jesus, come into my heart. Be born in me. Work your love in me that I may come to have peace."

© 2016 Noel E. Bordador

Noel Bordador is a queer Filipino priest in the Episcopal Diocese of New York.

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