God gifted me when he conked me on the head, a conk that resulted in my conversion. From that moment, God has often allowed me to see how He uses me and even tasks me. There is joy in the knowing that God flows good, help, justice, and mercy to others through me. At the same time, I realized that He had always done that, had often used me even as an atheist. Because He is God, he can use anyone, good or bad, for His good. And perhaps He used me in the old days because using an imperfect, flawed person (that part has not changed much) who is unaware of His presence makes His presence more obvious to those who are receiving His support. That realization resulted in my writing Blest Atheist.
For a long while after conversion, I begged to continue being used. There is incredible, unbounded joy in being God's instrument, and the knowing of it has truly been a gift. But, as I have matured in faith, as slowly as that may have been or may be, I have come to understand the value and wonder of not knowing. Now I ask God to use me as He wills and can, without the need for me to know what or how He may be using me, just to let His love, mercy, aid, and justice flow through me like water through the cracks of a broken vessel. If there is deep, boundless joy in knowing that God has bent down and picked me up to use as an instrument of His great or small endeavors, then there is far greater joy in not knowing this, joy that is securely bounded by the unbreakable bond of God's love for man, for His creation.
Our Lady of Fatima [Flickr]
1 day ago