Ms. Kimberly is weird, really weird. The kind of weird where she birthed her 9th child in her bathroom with no one but herself to catch the baby girl she would name Crystal. The child's cord was wrapped around her neck and Ms. Kimberly simply unwrapped it and continued to birth her child, as if it was the most normal thing. She is earthy and unattached. She would take crystal rocks into the desert and sing to the moon. She would invite me to chew mushrooms and have a psychedelic experience, I never did (psychedelic isn't my thing). She might be a witch and a hippie and the product of freedom after an abusive marriage, but these are the reasons I like her. I'm fascinated by her stories, but mostly, her questions.
Years ago, before the blow up in my marriage, I worked with a small, loud Italian woman who's nails were long and perfectly manicured. When she talked in her lilting Italian accent she would wave and explain everything with her hands. One day while telling me something and waving her hands she poked me in the eye. More than poked me. Her perfectly manicured nail scraped my eyeball. I know, it's gross and you're cringing right now. But, I tell you this because I want to explain why there was a patch on my eye when I saw Ms. Kimberly that day.
She took my hand, led me to the kitchen, poured me a bowl of miso soup and asked about my eye. Of course, I animated the story of the small Italian lady with wicked fingernails. Ms. Kimberly always had a different way of looking at things. She asked, "What is it in you life that you don't want to see?"
"Uhhhh," I staggered. She dug deep.
At that time, my life felt messy and there were lots of things I didn't want to see. Mr. Scabs hadn't yet become Mr. Scabs but things still felt uneasy. Our marriage felt young and new although, at the same time it felt difficult and confusing. Things I had solidly believed in were fading. My once strong faith felt like a puff of pixy dust. Our love felt thinner than rice paper. My heart knew the direction an unnurtured relationship takes but I couldn't quite mend it or grasp why this was happening. And so, I kept on being hesitant and confused.
I'm not sure why this story is spilling out on the page today except that it leads up to one solid event that seeded itself in my chest. The moment is small and brief but it has the most incredible and powerful impact. Let me be clear, the impact wasn't immediate. This small event is a seed that took it's sweet time growing. The memory of this moment is still fresh.
For years, I had been doubting faith. Doubting marriage. Doubting myself. Doubting purpose. Faith has never been natural to me. It is far easier to fill my mind with doubt, alternative thinking and logic. When faith has filled me, it has been the result of brow-sweating hard work, humility and searching.
One day, while standing in Ms. Kimberly's grassy backyard, I felt fire blaze through my chest answering the question I was asking, "Is Christ really real?"
All it took was that one brief, seeding moment, to know that He is.