Personal Narrative - Finding Truth in Prayer
Length: 597 words (1.7 double-spaced pages)
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Glory, God stared me in the face. A man, my savior stood at the curtain. “Are you planning to pray?” he inquired. I blinked twice, “Um... yes?”
Praying isn’t my ‘thing,’ but I figured “When in Vatican City...”
I stepped past the man and into Enlightenment. Behind the curtain a room heavy with relics awaited. People stood, sat in the corners; heads down and hands clasped the room was immobile. Satan himself could not stir a soul.
I took my place in the pew furthest from the front in a dark corner. Mindlessly I closed my eyes, hands and tilted my head. “Ask God for three things” my stepmother whispered in my ear.
I opened my eyes.
The room was remarkably bright. Angels flew above my head. How could I have never noticed before? And the altar before me rang with a holy, resonant sound. And this sound, this deep hum filled my mind, almost deafening any insecurities that I could ever find. This projection left me feeling whole, left me feeling safe and secure.
I was ready, I closed my eyes.
Just like Robert Frost’s “Mending Wall.” It occurred to me that when you wall something out (God), you’re also walling something in (the very glimmer that one day I’d have faith). I chose to break down that wall.
But what to ask for? Here I am in what has to be one of the holiest places I will ever encounter and I’m gearing to pray. I don’t pray. What do I want?
“Truth.” I heard myself whisper. Yes, the word flowed right out of me. An eternal flame had been lit, and I felt remarkably warm. I could not contain myself, I continued to whisper “I want to find the truth. Any and all truth, and somehow find its’ beauty.”
Sure it wasn’t exactly three things that I had asked from him, but I figured if I put this one on hold, he’d be sure to listen another day.
Bombarded, my mind filled with a million thoughts and ideas. I felt like I could see through any problem solely because I’m meant to. I knew what I wanted - the mere idea swallowed me. There is truth, and a faith that will liberate me. And my job, my mission is find it’s beauty. To chisel away the inconsistencies and fallacies of life until I’m left with nothing polished or refined, only the raw truth.
And without question, somehow I knew that my job would also be to share this truth, and share it unpolished and unrefined while at the same time presenting it’s beauty.
My body, mind not yet ready to move from my spot I knelt there for a time that felt neither long nor short. Timeless. Clenched, I had yet to reopen my eyes.
In comparison to Aldo Leopold’s “Thinking Like a Mountain,” his epiphany can be found in the rocky hilltops, while mine in St. Peter’s Cathedral.
I allowed my eyes to breathe. Liberated, the entire room had yet to lose its effect. The once deep hum was now a slight murmur in my mind. But the feeling remained. I felt good, real good.
On my way out I noticed the usher in front of the curtain had left, he was replaced by another. I floated right out of the cathedral and welcomed the sun’s warm rays. Maybe what I had found was never really lost, only admitted. But maybe what I had found was the truth: you see truth unaltered and raw, you accept its beauty.