Describe a memory or encounter in which you considered your faith, religion, spirituality — or lack of — for the first time.
Photographers, artists, poets: show us FAITH.
I have been a spiritual person for most of my adult life. I believe in God and attended church most of my adult life. I am now a Muslim and attend weekly services at the masjid. But there was a time when i felt the presence of God very near to me. That was when my mother was dying.
My mother was in the hospital in Utica, NY. She had been admitted a few days before Christmas complaining of neck pain. She had rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. The doctors were unsure what was causing her severe pain. They were doing tests but she was in pain and not getting better. I had come to visit from Albany, NY the day after Christmas and could see that she was not good. She was lapsing in and out of consciousness. A neurologist was called. An MRI was done. They thought they saw a mass on her spine near her neck. It could be cancer. They sent me home.
As soon as I got home, I had a message to return. My mother had taken a turn for the worse. They didn’t expect her to live much longer. We had a do not resuscitate order for her, per her wishes. I got back in my car and raced back to Utica. When I was about half way there, through my tears, I felt very peaceful and realized my mother had died. I knew she was finally at peace and out of pain. I knew she was with God. I could feel the presence of God. I slowed down to a normal speed because I knew that she was already gone.
When I reached the hospital, I learned my mother had indeed died at about the time I had felt the peace come over me. My sister and my mother’s best friend were with her when she passed. She was not alone. She was finally at peace. She was without pain.
I planned my mother’s funeral with the sister from my mother’s parish. We selected the Bible readings that were meaningful to me and my mother and the hymns that were special. I especially chose a psalm that talked about being raised on the wings of eagles. I could picture my mother being lifted from her pain on the wings of an eagle in heaven.
This was not the first time that I have felt close to God. But it was one of the strongest feelings I have had. The entire experience of my mother’s death was made easier because of my belief in God. My belief in God is so important to me. It was then, and it still is today.