I sat in the rear pew of The Parroquia, the grand church off
San Miguel Allende’s city center called the Jardin. It was early
on Holy Thursday morning and the church was empty except
for the volunteers who were mopping the floor and dusting off
Jesus, who will be carried through the streets later that day on
the backs of twelve believers.
I was there to think, having argued with my brother the night
before over who loved our mother more. This is always a
delicate debate and unwinnable, unless complete and absolute
fidelity is declared to her memory. My love for her is deep,
but not so complete. My brother worries that the memoir I
am writing will not do justice to her memory. I tell him "It’s
a fictionalized memoir. All memoirs live more in the author’s
mind than reality," but he was very drunk and would not listen.
The youngest is often such a gate-keeper.
So there I sat, eyes closed, listening for some message from
God. I often pray in this way, having a "My Own Personal
Jesus" moment in which the supplicant (that’s me), acts as if He
(God) is listening, pausing to consider my question, and then
stating, loudly and infallibly, (in my mind) the correct answer.
I’m quite certain that many dictators, demigods, and serial killers
have used this same conversational technique with a wide and
surprising host of replies, but I’m a simple man (today) and keep
my questions basic. "How am I doing, Jesus?" I think in my mind.
"Why, you’re doing just fine." I hear His reply in a lexicon that is
surprisingly like my own (he’s a very personal God).
I leave the church grateful to God for taking time out of His busy
schedule to speak to me, and continue my work of fictionalizing my past.
© by Charles P. Ries
Used with the author's permission.