God and Bacon

She's Feeling God! She's feeling Him!

I went to an Orthodox Jewish preschool where I was raised on the idea that eating pig was trashy. My mother wasn’t Orthodox so when she went to the market, she was always afraid that a fellow mother
from the preschool would find out that we ate pig every Sunday for breakfast at exactly 10 am. How they would find out? I don’t know. I went to this preschool mostly because of proximity. A temple was right across the street from us and when my mother saw the entire community gather in that brick building every Saturday morning, she thought that that was something to be a part of. The irony was that she knew nothing about God or decided not to because everyday was a string of bad luck for her.

My mother was a school nurse. Little kids came in everyday pretending to be sick. The girl that played Curly Sue in the movie Curly Sue always claimed she felt “queasy”. My mother had to deal with her yelling mother along with a slew of other yelling mothers everyday. Not only that, when it came time to go home each afternoon, her car would malfunction. When it was time for me to learn about God, I pretty much thought that God didn’t exist because my mother said so.

My fifth year of Hebrew Sunday school, our teachers started coaching us on how to form a relationship with God in preparation for our bat and bar mitzvahs. The entire concept of a relationship baffled me not only because I ate bacon every Sunday, but also because I truly believed that God was just air and people constructed Him to feel better about themselves. When I actually spoke up with this theory, I was told to sit outside class and think about why I was wrong.

Hebrew school became pointless because I was always outside class and eating bacon before class started. The only thing that saved me from leaving were the musicals our teachers wrote and directed. Somehow, I almost always got cast as a background dancer and chorus member. When confirmation class came around, my excuse for missing out was that I was serving God through dance and song.

My friends were all going to Jewish sleep-away camps to learn more about being Hebrew, while I was playing roles like Dancer 2 and still wondering what being a Hebrew meant. I told people: “Hey...if you meet God, good for you. I still haven’t met him...so just let me know if you can introduce me.” My classmates would get all flustered and spiritual with me, insisting that I would never SEE Him...I would only be able to FEEL Him. Why they were so adamant about their views was somewhat disturbing to me...the whole FEELING thing seeming too abstract and unrealistic.

Then, one day, while practicing my dance role for Ten Commandments, The Musical, I suddenly felt really charged by some out of body experience. My body wanted to dance without direction -- it wanted to shake without being told how to shake. My character for the performance was a Golden Calf, so I thought that maybe this was some inexplainable method acting I was unknowingly attempting. But, whom was I kidding? This was not method anything. This was probably me being taken over by some spirit because the Golden Calf was a completely unholy character in the Bible and maybe this was my punishment for accepting the role? (Did God know about my Sunday bacon?)

While random dance movement started flowing out of me, kids in the production stared with awe. They thought I was either crazy or possessed by something. Someone even yelled out, “She’s feeling God! She’s feeling Him!” The moment felt as if it would keep going. I felt so spiritually charged and high that I didn’t want to stop. To be honest, I think I was just really into character. But, if there was any moment that I ever felt God, this moment was the first time I felt Him and I finally felt Him with an open heart. Everyone had met God already, but I met him that day... and I have to say, that day was pretty neat...dance shakes, sweat, (my bacon breakfast aside), and all.

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