“So! You worship the sun,” he said.
It was not a question. It was a statement.
He had walked into my shop, unannounced and surprisingly, closing the gap of not having seen each other since we were in grade school with a radiant smile and a bear hug.
Now he was standing in front of one of my house altars, his arms crossed, as if to protect his heart.
“No, I worship the creator, the force that created the sun.” I tried not to sound defensive. “Is that not the one, the same one that you worship?”
His arms tightened in front of his chest.
“That mirror there, on the altar. What’s that for? Is that also a symbol of the sun?”
“Might be”, I answered. “But I like to see it as a reminder to look for God within myself and anything/one who can be reflected in that mirror.”
“So you are God, then?” He sounded sarcastic now.
“No, I am not God. – I am an expression of God. From where I stand your reflection in that mirror looks like an expression of God too.”
I tried a little laugh to soften the atmosphere that had become a bit hard to breath in.
He looked embarrassed. My intention had not been to embarrass him. But I had.
“This is not what they tough you in school,” he said. He didn’t want to drop the subject.
Neither did I.
I felt I wanted to talk about this now.
“Actually, you know, I think they did.” I said. “- Remember how they talked about listening to God’s voice, to listen to that little voice inside of you, telling you what to do? Remember? They called it your conscience, sometimes. Other times they would call it the Voice of God. God’s voice talking from the inside of you.”
He had me talking now. He had asked! ” Remember the Bible story about little Samuel in the Temple? How he was told by the priest to say “Talk Lord. I am here. I am listening”. Remember how they always told us to listen for that voice? And listen and obey.
He looked puzzled by my enthusiasm.
The words poured out of me.
“-As a little child, I wondered about this. I could hear the voice. I wondered about that quiet voice inside me. I wondered if we all heard the same voice. I wondered a lot about this. While wondering and listening for the voice, I learned that the voice was best heard when there was silence. I needed it to be quiet around me, to hear the voice. I also learned that the voice would never shout at me, to be heard. I would have to listen for it. I would want to hear it. Sometimes, when I had done something I wasn’t supposed to do, something wrong, I would shut the voice out, out of fear of what it could tell me. This shutting the voice out, made me feel very bad. As if I was all alone. As if the voice had left me and was never ever coming back. It felt lonely and sad. Scary. But I found out that I just had to want it to come back and, like magic, it would be there.”
I took a breather and kept quiet.
He turned away from my Shinto Altar and sat down in a chair. He looked tired. The radiant smile he had worn when he walked in was all gone. He picked up a deck of Tarot cards that was lying on a table.
I waited. I had a felling of what was coming next.
“So, what’s all this about the Tarot?” “-I don’t believe in fortune telling and fate and all that,” he said.
” Neither do I!” I laughed.
He looked surprised!
– “No, I don’t.” “…….No, that is not really true. I do believe in fate if you don’t take action…! The Tarot is a tool I use, to clearer and faster understand what the voice we were talking about, is trying to tell me. When I was smaller, younger….. it was easier to hear and connect with that voice. Now life is so busy and noisy that I use different tools to connect with it. Tarot is one of those tools.”
He was shuffling the cards. In silence.
They looked small and forlorn between his big hands.