This piece is part of the series, “Readers Take Over Hevria”
“Your experience touching the Divine. Up close, personal, vulnerable. I want to read about your mistakes and your tikkunim and how you woke up and made a change – a shift.”
So you want me to talk about Gd.
No – you want me to talk about my Gd.
About a lightening-bolt moment of awareness that brought me an understanding so sublime there was no room to deny
But I can’t.
See, while I have most definitely experienced Gd’s Hand In My Life and
Turning Points and
Aha – Moments and
that hit me deep, into my deepest deep,
For me (and my Gd)
it’s not about that.
Because as much as I can chase those euphoric moments of spiritual ecstasy or existential clarity, how often do they really come? And when they do, what do they really teach me?
There’s this beautiful prayer we say every Yom Kippur — and every year, as I say the words, I cry.
“Just like the clay in the hands of the potter, who, when he wishes expands it and when he wishes contracts it; so are we in Your hand.”
I relate to this so strongly.
Because as much as I can be super intense and larger-than-life and want to experience my Gd in the most full, grand, obvious ways
This is how my soul is etched by the Divine:
Through the small caresses of life’s mundane moments as they create grooves into my soul – marks of happiness, despair, failure, triumph, fulfillment.
Like a piece of clay softened in the hands of a sensitive, knowing artist,
I feel Gd hold me, mold me, move through me
as I take the shape
I am meant to.
“Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel.”
So yes, there are those transformative, Super Big Moments
Where I come to terms with how malleable I truly am
But I cannot capture my experience of Gd in some kitschy story
Because mostly I encounter Him while trying so hard to navigate those little moments in life.
Every time I am about to lose my temper with a child and I hold myself back, just barely, trying to breathe through the anger and scorn
Every time I answer my mother’s phone call through gritted teeth even when I am not in the mood to talk (or listen)
Every time I squash that bitter, negative, jealous voice in my head
Or give the microphone to the cheerleader who is tired of sitting on the sidelines.
Every time I allow myself to feel comfort in the silence, in the lonely, in the plain
Every time I try to be sensitive to someone who needs me, even when I’m feeling so callous and drained
Every time I push through the pain
Every time I choose to empathise instead of letting judgement reign
Every time I decide to love my husband and remember the good
Every time I fail.
I feel those grooves of light and love
etch my soul
deep, into my deepest deep
The drip, drip, drip of growing awareness
The clay surrounding the crudeness in me getting
Softer and softer.
And in those moments that I let Him in
In those moments that a whisper is enough to shatter the sound barrier
I experience a tikkun
Like no other.