Saturday, January 19, 2008

Climbing Hills

So, how did my talk with Mrs. Fabio manifest itself in my psyche over Shabbos? Well, it was snowing, and so a lot of people did not go to Shul. When I got there, late, it was almost time for a Bris. I saw no one with whom I felt comfortable just chatting, so I stood by myself for a bit. Mrs. Fabio came in with three girls who I know. They came and greeted me and Mrs. Fabio did the same. As it became time for the Bris, Mrs. Fabio and the girls moved closer to the seating area and Mrs. Fabio started talking to them about what was going to happen, and showing them the prayer from the Siddur. I moved up and stood near for a bit, trying to learn, too. However, what Mrs. Fabio had told me nagged in the back of my mind, and as the circle didn't open to include me, I just stepped back. I felt sad.

After the Bris, I went to the Kiddish and looked for the people from the house where I had planned to eat. They weren't there. I kinda wondered around, but none of my friends were there. I thought about how Mrs. Fabio said I wasn't lonely enough and I felt so alone. I mean, here I was, feeling totally out of place, but apparently that wasn't enough. I went into the bathroom and cried a little bit. I thought about my mother, my family, and my friends, considering how I could have just stopped being "religious" and they never would have questioned my change from Christian to non-observant Christian. I would still have my college friends, my mom would not be sad, and there would be peace in my home. Yet, I have given that all up because I need to do what compels me. However, maybe even then, I can't. Maybe I will not be allowed to be Jewish. Often, I feel that I'm just not what I need to be in order to convert, but I am willing to fight if there is a possibility of victory. It's just when it seems like failure is inevitable that I feel defeated. And, then, I feel bad about feeling defeated. Doesn't someone who truly wants something keep fighting despite defeat? Do they do it cheerfully? Does the fact that I feel frustrated and defeated mean that I'm not good enough? I just don't know.

Then, I found some other people who were going to lunch where I was, and I walked with them. While there, we went around the table and talked about one way where we saw Hashem's hand in the past week. The Father-in-Law of the hostess was there. He is a great Rabbi from South Africa who has sense retired, I think. He started by explaining Brachos and how the Jewish laws force people to see Hashem everywhere. When a billionaire thanks Hashem for a glass of water, it's a humbling experience. Brachos are the currency with which we purchase from Hashem. He then said that he is never alone. Hashem is always there, and every second of the day, Hashem is paying attention. Although there is no way I can do justice for what the Rabbi said, but in the end, it doesn't matter exactly what he said. At that moment, he brought me back out of my head. I am not doing this for Mrs. Fabio to love me, I'm not doing it for people to flock to me in Shul. I'm doing this because I love Hashem. I had a warm church family, and I had mentors and religious leaders who would look after me. That's not what I want. I want to serve God, and I want to do it the best way I can. I realized this because of the Rabbi's talk, I need to remember that, while I am fighting an uphill battle, Hashem is with me and with each step that I move upwards, I'm that much closer to Him.

No comments: