I had this habit, when I was little, of sitting on a stool beside our stereo casette player every midday. I would listen to worship songs and sing along with Don Moen or Steve Kuban or whose voice that was. A lyric card lie unfolded on my hand.
No one in my clan scolded me for spending too much time beside our stereo casette player, so I had the luxury of finishing all songs from one tape to another. I would stop once my ears felt overused. I remembered how my sisters would join at first then leave me doing solo for half of the album. I always ended up alone with the music in the room.
One of those middays sticks clear in my mind, though. Until now.
I placed the small stool by the stereo’s right side as routine. The cassette held the tape in with a click, then I watched its wheels reeling. I sniffed the lyric card that went with the transparent case. Unfurled it. Ahem!
Before I let out a tune, a bright idea came to me. I rushed to the light switch. And flicked it off. I ran back to my stool. I stared at the black-stained room, in awe of how it magnified Don Moen’s serenading to God. The room solely contained me and the music. For some reason, the music dwarfed me more than the darkness did, and some strange longing for God filled my heart.
“Lord, I hope You show up to me. Now.”
I heard myself saying.
“I wonder how You really look. I wonder how it feels to hug You.”
Little as I was, I had a feeling my prayer was a tad ridiculous. But what was my elementary mind knew then save for “Everything is possible,” and “Ask and you shall receive.” I watched films that re-enacted the lives of saints, and I knew I wasn’t holy to ask for an apparition. But what if? What if He says “okay”?
“Lord, please. I want to see You.”
I waited. Then begged Him more.
“Lord, why not? I mean, it’s just You appearing to me… I think there’s nothing wrong with that…”
I was beginning to get desperate. Sad even.
Suddenly, my eyes fell on my mom’s picture of Jesus’ face resting on the wall right across the stereo casette player. Whilst my eyes were transfixed on that little glow that was Jesus’ cheeks, I walked toward it and held it close to my face.
I studied the picture’s hair, forehead, brows and eyes, nose, lips, and beard. My finger touched it as if it sensed its texture. It was beautifully painted. Somehow, I felt like it was really how He looked, and that He was looking at me. Gently. A smile was growing in my lips. I lingered on it a mite longer, my fingers dearly re-tracing Jesus’ facial features.
Somehow, it was enough.
I placed back the picture on the wall, walked towards the light switch, and flicked it on.
“Thank you, Lord!”
Beaming, I turned to my lyric card and sang along.