March 18, 2022

My Journey to God


“Remember you are from ashes, and to ashes you will return,” said the priest as he smudged ashes on my forehead in the shape of a cross.

I went back home, and later fell asleep on the couch.

In an instant I was somewhere, I’m not sure where, but I got the impression it was “up.” It was also white, all white, only white, very white, in every direction. It wasn’t dazzling or blinding white, but it was pure white: no shapes, no sizes, no distinctions, just fields of pure white in every direction.

I wasn’t afraid.

I heard someone coming up behind me and I knew it was God. I didn’t want to face Him, so I stayed put and bowed my head. Of all the questions I could ask, I could only think of one: “What time is it?”

“The time is ‘now,’ ” He answered. “It is now o’clock.”

I felt like I’d always been there. It was like one continuous moment of eternity that kept going on forever, and it was all good.

“Time for you to go,” the voice said.

“How do I get back here?” I asked.

“Be a person of love,” He said. “Forgive others and help those in need.”

The next morning when I woke up, I looked up at the ceiling and said, “Ok, I will” and “thank you.” The ashes were gone from my forehead.

By Sonny Shanks

(Sonny Shanks is a member of St. Joseph Parish in Corydon.)

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