By Andy Christian Castillo
My 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.
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 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.