One morning, I reached into the fridge for breakfast stuff. As part of my New Year's resolution, I promised myself that I'd try to start each day with something healthier than a cup of high-octane java and a cigarette. I'd just stocked up on Egg Beater's, low-fat cheese and veggies the day before.
A little voice said, "Eat the macaroni and cheese." I looked around. Huh?
It spoke again. "Eat the macaroni and cheese."
I'm still not exactly sure why, but I put the Egg Beaters back and ate the macaroni and cheese.
Later that morning, I was organizing some things in the fridge--ok, so I was eyeballing some leftover pizza--and happened to look at the expiration date on the *brand new* container of Egg Beaters (something I've gotten in the habit of doing on occasion since this is something my oldest, who has OCD, obsesses about). It had expired almost a month ago.
Wow! If I had made an omelet as intended, I might be booting my breakfast for the rest of the day!
Where did that tiny voice in my head come from? Am I suddenly a psychic? Am I nuts?
What if it was a message from God?
When I was a teenager, I had a discussion with a friend about faith.
"...but how do you know?" I remember asking her. "How do you really know that He exists?"
"Because I prayed to Him. And He told me so," she said.
Well, uh... how the heck do you argue with that? I was stymied. On reflection, I should have asked for details.
With this in mind, I've paid particular attention over the years to those who purport to have divine conversations, or claim to know "the will" of God.
I'm dying of curiosity. How come God speaks to some and not to others? How do these conversations take place? I'm pretty sure Dan Rather would come out of retirement if thousands of talking bushes burst into flames across the globe.
Details. I want details!
Does God take the form of human strangers and walk up out of the blue, as portrayed in the now-defunct television series Joan of Arcadia?
Does He appear in dreams, and if so, how do you know it wasn't the Spicy Kung Pao Chicken from the night before?
Does He write messages on the fridge with alphabet magnets?
What was Oral Roberts doing back in 1987 when he got one of many (supposed) taps on the shoulder by The Almighty? Was it something mundane like taking out the trash or clipping his toenails?
"Psst, Orrie! Get me 8 million smackaroos by March or I'll have to whack you!" That makes me imagine God as a celestial Tony Soprano.
Last August 31st, Muhammad Yousef Al-Mlaifi, a high-ranking Kuwaiti official, published an article which basically said that Hurricane Katrina was sent by Allah to punish the US. "The Disaster Will Keep Striking the Unbelievers for What They Have Done".
Barely a month later, a catastrophic earthquake devastated Pakistan (with a population that is 97% Muslim), tragically killing around 73,000 men, women and children. We haven't heard anything further from Mr. Al-Mlaifi.
Is that because Allah sent him a candy-gram that said, "This is for opening your yap, ya big bonehead?"
I don't have any answers. I like to think that God is talking to all of us, even the most "unworthy", if only we'd take a moment to listen.
I like to think He's talking to me in the mornings when I'm greeted with a glorious, technicolor mountain sunrise.
I like to think He's talking to me when I get an overwhelming urge to take an elderly person's grocery cart back to the cart corral on a slippery, slushy day, especially when I'm feeling tired and harassed.
I'm pretty sure that He's talking to me when He allows me to witness my prickly, status-conscious son take his brother's hand to help him cross the street, even in the presence of a teenage girl who he's dying to impress with his machismo.
So who knows? Maybe--just maybe, God sent me a direct message in a tiny little voice.
"Eat the macaroni and cheese!"
Now if only He'd go tell Calista Flockhart to eat a Big Mac. Or three.