Like Shifting Sand

By Andy Christian Castillo

_DSF7645My pursuit after god has run a course through valleys and over mountains; it has led through swamps and darkness so thick that i couldn’t see my hands in front of my face. I’ve wandered off of the path, and taken my eyes off of what is really important.

But through it all, I have felt a gentle current pulling me back; the tide is changing.  I can feel its pull.  like shifting sand underneath my feet and between my toes; slipping back out to see.  I am pulled by gravity towards love incomprehensible by human mind.  I cannot explain it; nor can i escape it.  I am desperately loved by a being that I cannot understand, regardless of myself: regardless of what I do.

Easter Plays & Stuffed Sheep

When I was young, my church hosted an Easter play every year.  I remember pulling shepherd’s costumes out of old boxes, and pinning them on with clothespins.  Sometimes, I forgot to wear shorts and looked ridiculous with khakis sticking below the robe.  Before the big show, I remember feeling cold because of nerves, even though the wood stove was cranked all the way up.  Afterwards, I ran to the water fountain and doused myself with water that felt colder than ice.

It seemed like a big deal at the time; all that preparation, all the time spent worrying about messing up.

Looking back, it was such a small thing.  But in the moment, it felt like a mountain that i had to climb.  And I didn’t stop to think about how ridiculous i looked, leading a stuffed sheep over an imaginary countryside.  everything about me, was innocent.  At the time, I didn’t understand who God was (I still don’t understand Him, to be honest); I memorized the lines and put on the personas because that’s what was expected of me.  I played the parts that were given to me without questioning whether or not they were true.

My commitment was based on the belief of my parents; my faith was rock solid because I didn’t know any other way.

That Little Boy Boston Harbor

Today, everything is complicated, and I’m not innocent anymore. My faith is under a constant barrage of questioning; particularly in recent years, it feels like everything that I believe, is purposely, and methodically attacked on a daily basis. I suppose you could say that i’m no longer sheltered. I wish that I could conjure up the faith of the old me, and lead stuffed sheep without stopping to think of what I was actually doing. I wish that I could adamantly cling to my beliefs without question.

I wish that God would give me all of the answers – but that will never happen.

Instead, i’ll plod ahead through the sand – and wait for that gentle currant to nip at my toes, pull me in, and drown me in a sea of unending grace.

Andy Christian CastilloAndy Christian Castillo is the Founder of Ver・ism(s).  He is a military veteran and student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, pursuing a degree in English.  In his free time, he plays music, writes poetry, gallivants around the world, climbs mountains and runs through the pouring rain.


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