Being Caught

In her book, Firstlight, Sue Monk Kidd tells this story:
Thomas Merton, the Trappist monk, was quite good with a camera and often photographed the simple beauty of the Kentucky hills around his monastery.
One day he sent a photograph to a friend with the inscription: "The only known photograph of God." The color snapshot showed gentle hills under a vast blue sky. At the top of the picture, dominating the scene, was an immense sky hook, the kind used in construction to lift heavy objects. It looked like a gigantic fishhook suspended from heaven. 
Our internalized images of what God is like -- for instance, whether we see the Divine as distant or near, punitive or forgiving -- has an immense impact on the way we experience life. For Merton, the image of a hook dangling over the world reflected his experience of a God who is driven by love to capture the human heart. This has been my experience too. The mysterious hook resonated in me as a hunger, a restlessness, or a quiet emptiness. 
I have found joy in being caught. 
There are two great truths to me in these words. The first is that how we see God (or don't) has an immense impact on how we experience life. I think that even within similar belief systems, there are no two images of God that are exactly alike, and I think it was meant to be this way. Our experiences shape who God is to us, and we are shaped by that relationship. It is a continual process.

The second great truth found in this story is the joy in being caught. As my faith continues to evolve, not without many growing pains, I sometimes try to speculate what it will look like at the end of my life. Where will I be? What will I believe? Will my anchor remain cast near the shore of Mormonism or will I never let it down in one place for too long again?

I obviously don't know the answers to these questions, or the many others I have, but I'm okay with that. Despite the times I've felt immense peace at the thought that this could be all there is - one life, one existence, one chance to make the most of my time traveling around the sun - I feel an even greater pull to say that there is something more, and I like calling that something more God. I, too, feel joy in being caught. Pure, unapologetic joy at living a life where there will always be mysteries, and in the moments where grace reveals one unto me.


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