“Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.”
I am a Christian, your run-of- the-mill nondenominational Protestant. Not a religious fundamentalist. My settling on this particular flavor years ago was greatly influenced by the writings of C.S. Lewis, an atheist who, in later life, converted to Christianity.
The bottom line to my faith is that I believe I am a created being.
Some of my very best friends are also Christians of various flavors — Catholics, Protestants of various denominations, Mormons. Some are Hindi, some Muslim. Some are agnostics, some are atheists. I don’t have any Buddhists on my planet that I know of but I would like some. Because they put on really cool festivals with Taiko drumming.
My friends and I talk about our various beliefs or lack of, or we don’t. It is not a big deal. I do have very strong opinions about what Christianity is and what it is not, but I stay off my soapbox unless someone invites me to step on it.
I don’t like organized religion. I don’t go to church very often. I would like to find a church home, but every time I think I have found one and start to go regularly, something about the church pisses me off. Which, I’m pretty sure, is not what God has in mind.
Church people can get too churchy for me. Like being members of a special club. If you are not in the club, or you don’t conform to the general mold, it is hard to get connected. Like with any group, if you don’t fit within some of the traditions, or if you believe you have been charged with a special mission to Question Authority, as I do, then you tend to stay on the fringe. I sort of prefer the fringe. Like high school — when I had friends in the Popular Crowd, but the thought of becoming a card-carrying member myself gave me the heebie jeebies.
I bring this up because I am in closer contact with God these days because of My Great Adventure into improving my mental and physical health. It has been getting pretty rough at times, and I am not wired to depend on or seek comfort from people. This is because  people can’t usually do much to help solve these sorts of things; and  some people, although super well-meaning, can be Morons.
I don’t feel better when people say things to try and make me feel better. I feel better when the thing is solved or when I know I am on track for the solution. I feel better when I have my own toolbox and know how to stock it and use the tools inside. Words don’t help but action does.
God knows that when things are going pretty smoothly, I am too busy for him. Like when you have a new boyfriend and you are too busy to respond to your ever faithful friend’s invites to lunch. You are happy and life is good and you’d rather be with the boyfriend than the friend. Nevertheless, this loyal friend remains always on stand by and ready for deployment to your side just when you need them. So when the boyfriend turns out to be a Moron or, as in my most recent boyfriend episode, an abusive and violent drunk, the first thing you do is call your friend and see if they want to go to lunch. And that good friend is of course always available, to rescue, or give advice or lend an ear. Or just go shopping for earrings.
God is mostly that sort of friend to me. (Except for the earrings part. I don’t think He approves of my earring thing. Or my handbag thing. And many other things.) He is always there, waiting to respond to my SOS. That’s His job. After all, He wired me in the first place and then put me here. He is obligated to help me out and I challenge Him to that.
His answers always come. They do not come with trumpets or choirs. They come quietly, in whispers — yes, I know what you are going through … no, there is no avoiding this lesson … but nothing is impossible … just keep pedaling … live in this moment …don’t worry about a single, solitary thing … be joyful in spite of the circumstances … be thankful in all circumstances …
His answers also come in little sparkling bits of grace that get sprinkled around for me to see and experience. These are tiny blessings and gifts He places in my path without me doing anything to earn them or deserve them … encouraging words, beautiful sights, shared kindnesses …
…. “A good sleep is grace and so are good dreams. Most tears are grace. The smell of rain is grace. Somebody loving you is grace. Loving somebody is grace.”
And the darker it gets, the more grace He puts out there. The trick is to be able to catch sight of the little sparkling bits in the midst of the dark. So this adventure of mine seems to be a lot about how well I keep my toolbox stocked with flashlights.
 Frederick Buechner, Now and Then: A Memoir of Vocation
 Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking