Head Over Heels

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Okay, I admit it: I am totally and completely head over heels in love!

You might assume I’m talking about my husband. I hope you will not consider it scandalous at the further admission that I’m not, though I do love him very much. But right now I’m talking about my Lord!

Some of you know exactly what I mean. Others might be thinking, “Well I love God, sure, but head over heels? Isn’t that going a bit overboard?”

If searching for stolen moments to be with your beloved is wrong, if desiring to continue getting to know him is not admirable, if wanting to live for him is anything less than worthy, then yes, I am overboard. But what can I say? I’m helplessly smitten.

There are many reasons for my passion, but if I had to pinpoint one or two main sources of late, I’d break it down to this: atheists and converts. Hanging around with some of each in the past year or so has compelled me even further into the arms of my Creator. In fact, if there were to be a wedding feast, I would invite a couple of the most influential to be my best man and maid of honor.

Perhaps the atheist-turned-Catholic who has most recently inspired me can say it better than I. I just finished a fabulous book, Atheist to Catholic: Stories of Conversion, which includes 11 accounts from non-believers who first rejected, then discovered and fell head over heels in love with, God. The first to share his story, science fiction author and philosopher John C. Wright, said this of what his newfound faith has meant to him (p. 6):

“The truth to which my lifetime as a philosopher had been devoted turned out to be a living thing. It turned and looked at me. Something from beyond the reach of time and space, more fundamental than reality, reached across the universe and broke into my soul and changed me. This was not a case of defense and prosecution laying out evidence for my reason to pick through: I was altered down to the root of my being. It was like falling in love. If you have not been in love, I cannot explain it. If you have, you will raise a glass with me in toast.”

Oh, it’s just too good to stop there. I have to share a little more:

“Naturally I was overjoyed. First, I discovered that the death sentence under which all life suffers no longer applied to me. The governor, so to speak, had phoned. Second, imagine how puffed up with pride you’d be to find out you were the son of Caesar, and all the empire would be yours. How much more then to find out you were the child of God!”

See what I mean? I’m telling you, these converts are pure blessings from God. They remind us of the jewel we hold in our very hands! They turn our heads toward that which we have taken for granted and say, “Do you not understand what a tremendous gift you’ve been given?”

On the other side of the coin are those who offer no recognition whatsoever to an all-loving God. Recently I was talking to my atheist friend about prayer. With utmost honesty, she admitted that she just doesn’t get it; to her, prayer is an utter waste of time, completely pointless.

Au contraire, I say! To the one who knows God, this is the most precious and valuable act we can undertake! I think of what my life would be like without prayer, and I don’t mean just those precious hours I’ve spent in Adoration intently focused on my Lord, but in the small, everyday conversations I have with Him on a daily basis, sometimes second by second. Even when there are no words, the keen awareness that my loving God is with me every moment of my day is cause for euphoria . When I consider what my life would be like without this vital connection, a foreboding darkness comes over me. I imagine it as an existence both shallow and cold, and myself drained of my very lifeblood.

My atheist friend truly feels no lack. She claims to be living a happy and fulfilled life. I trust her sincerity. But I also equate it to living life before stumbling upon your Beloved. Life can be good even in the absence of God, if you’re a lucky soul, but how much greener the grass looks when true love enters in!

I will continue praying that someday she will stumble upon the key that has kept her heart from being freed to see the One who has kept her life in motion all these years. Until that day, I am filled with gratitude that through her questions and doubting, my faith continues to be renewed and re-energized, the gift of it all the more cherished!

Yes, I am in love — in love with the King!

Q4U: Where are you at in your relationship with God? Have things grown stale, or do you feel as if you are in a perpetual courting or honeymoon phase?

Copyright 2011 Roxane Salonen

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About Author

Roxane B. Salonen, a wife and mother of five from Fargo, N.D., is an award-winning children’s author and freelance writer who also enjoys Catholic radio hosting and speaking. Roxane co-authored former Planned Parenthood manager Ramona Trevino’s memoir, Redeemed by Grace. Her work is featured on “Peace Garden Passage” at her website, roxanesalonen.com

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