I’ve been told that inside our heads is a brain.
(I got thrown a human one [preserved, thankfully] the first time I walked on MC’s campus. But that’s another story.)
A mushy mass of matter. With a thousand little lines running all through and over and around it.
I’ve been told that each of those lines matter. That they mean something, and without each one, we’re a little bit different than we would be with them. A little less. Or a little more. But we’d rather have them.
I’ve been told that, within that brain, stuff happens. That a similiar electricity that powers my house makes me say silly things and make decisions that will alter the course of humanity (or at least my lunch hour).
I’ve been told each time we do a particular behavior that electricity makes a deeper ridge into one of those lines. And that each time it happens we become more and more likely to continue in that behavior.
I’ve been told that the deep ridges electrified into our brains are a forever thing, being the reason alcoholics are alcoholics for life and a particular smell can trigger thoughts about an ex-boyfriend years after it’s all over. They have everything to do with the way he throws that ball the same wrong way that’s been practiced for years and she is transported back to freshman year each time she walks into that old dorm.
And I’ve never seen the currents that run through our so-called brains. But I’ve lived the situations that prove they’re there.
And the people who believe less in God because of science amaze me, because I’m amazed more and more by God each time I get a little more science in my head. And things seem to make more sense in that light.
Because how could it not be a creator that knew that I would need internal reinforcement to continue to pursue Him when the days were tough? That the “peace that passes understanding” is a physiological fact in moments that I should be freaking out and yet find joy.
And how could it not be a creator that would program me to run ever closer to Him after getting a taste of His goodness?
And sometimes there is doubt in this brain of mine. Because life doesn’t make sense and why in the world would “that” happen if God really loved us? But it seems to always work out that ‘how in the world could “that”–whatever it may be–not have happened if God really loved us’?
Because, years ago, I didn’t want to attend Mississippi College because it was a “no-dancing-baptist-convent”, and I didn’t want to be a psychology major because they were all a bunch of quacks, and I didn’t think writing could take you anywhere.
But years of church and youth group and conversations with adults who had attended all different kinds of colleges electrified into my brain a desire for Jesus in college, and I got more than I ever bargained for at the place where blue and yellow aren’t just my favorite colors. And sessions with Joy Shanteau, times when I would allow my friends to believe I was at the “doctor” or “busy”, from ninth grace past senior year reinforced a desire to help people with their thoughts and demons and made a psychology major out of the skeptic. And three long months of connecting with people across the world as they read the junk I threw out at the screen in an attempt to process and the compliments and conversations that still come from those who read the sporadic ramblings of a girl who doesn’t know much but pretends to know everything made me a writer.
But each one of those things happened, maybe, so that I would be sitting here tonight writing about the brain and being loved by God. So that I could realize that science isn’t in conflict with religion because neither get it really right. That relationship with God is the goal and once we have that everything else falls into place.
And to the one who hasn’t experienced it, I can’t explain exactly what it is. I know the Jesus-y words to comfort people in a time of need. I can usually figure out what to say. But I’ve come to believe that our relationship with God is more like our relationship with others than I’d ever imagine. That He pursues us in the way that we pursue others. By allowing them to be known. Asking who they are and beginning to really listen. Sending electrical currents in and around and through their minds, reminding people of who He is. Reminding people that He is love, and they are known. They are loved.

–Hallie

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