Every night I prayed to die. And every morning I woke up: angry, depressed – hopeless. Little did I know through repeatedly opening my eyes, an involuntary and seemingly mundane act, salvation was rearing its persistent head.
How did I get there? Why did I want to die? Years of alcoholism had taken its toll. It seemed I had lost everything: my career, my family’s home, car, and most of our furniture (how I still had a family continues to amaze me), the respect of others – my self. I was incapable of “hitting bottom”: that state from which I would magically rise. There was no bottom. Just a bottomless pit. Hitting bottom would have been an act of upward mobility.
And then it began to happen: murky at first, but eventually with clarity. I began to notice. I began to “see and feel” the world – life: the warmth of the sun, the stories contained in cloud formations, the force of wind blowing, the sound of birds singing, of train whistles, the smell of food cooking, the stillness of a morning walk, the emotion of opera, the magic of a book, the faint crackling sound as an old album played, the smiles of my children, the touch of my wife’s hand – God’s presence. God was showing me the beauty of His creation, and why it should be embraced rather than left. He was showing me how my life had meaning, value – how I could rebuild my life and live as He intended. He was showing me His salvation.
It may seem I was noticing the mundane, and perhaps I was. That’s my point: I believe God’s salvation is most often experienced and found in the mundane; in that perceived as ordinary, rather than in the dramatic or grand. Life, and the act of living, is in my view comprised of an infinite number of elements, observations, experiences, and interactions, the vast majority of which appear to be “ordinary” and without long-lasting significance. It is precisely in this “ordinariness” that I believe God attempts to communicate with us – to provide salvation to us. The question is: “Will we listen?” For far too long I did not. It was when I began to listen – to notice the seemingly mundane – that I became aware of God’s grace and started to reconstruct my life.
Without realization, I found salvation through what I thought was an unanswered prayer. I was opening my eyes. I was alive.