A Reader Revelation from Nick Mosca
I love how many of your stories in God Revealed have reminded me of times when I tangibly felt God’s presence. In particular, your chapter entitled, “God Revealed…at the Crossroads in Our Lives” contains a story about how Jules Pallone promoted you into a role for which you felt unqualified. Your retelling deeply resonated with the following God Revealed moment I encountered during a turning point in my career. I had forgotten about it until I read your book.
Thank you so much for this welcome reminder.
“My coat went to law school…without me.” I wrote this in my journal of gratitude after attending an open house for admitted law school students. I checked my coat at the welcome desk and embarked on the day’s events. They offered a sneak preview into what my life would be like as a law student and attorney. I escaped at the first opportunity…and forgot my coat amidst my enthusiasm to leave.
There was a cold truth to face while walking away from law school on that winter afternoon: I had applied mainly because it offered the prospect of financial security and would alleviate pressure from my family to become a lawyer. I was so confused and torn. As much as I tried, I could not gerrymander my heart into the law school mold set before me.
Later that evening, I went out for a walk. I hoped it would clear my mind and offer some perspective on what it means to live life, rather than be lived by it. Unsure where to begin, I turned to someone who I had left out of the law school admissions process: God. I prayed that God might reveal what I was truly created for.
A split second after voicing this prayer, I noticed something lying on the ground. My heart leapt when I picked it up:
Apparently, God gives out business cards. In Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman wrote: “I find letters from God dropped in the street, and every one is signed by God’s name.” This card has since offered me a lens to analyze what it means to be created for God.
On the face of the card, the word “God” is set against a backdrop of alternating blood red stripes reminiscent of wounds. Moreover, the card was ripped and discarded in the middle of the street. These characteristics illuminate the intimate relationship between God and people who are outcast and suffering. The card has thereby challenged me to define God’s vocation for my life in ways that extend compassion to those on the fringes of society. I have since followed this card all the way to the classrooms of George Jackson Academy, where I teach English and Public Speaking to underserved youth who otherwise could not afford a quality education.
Another way in which the ‘God Card’ has informed my life is by encouraging prayer.
There is no contact information on the card. And why should there be? You don’t need a phone or e-mail account to contact God! Yet, that was a privilege I had not been exercising regularly when I found it. Since then, I have sought to revitalize my torn and discarded spiritual life by praying over humor in scripture. Inspired by this life-giving spiritual practice, I studied the humor/theology intersection at Harvard Divinity School and am writing a book about how humor in different religious traditions can help people laugh, love, and live with one another. I was honored to win Harvard’s Billings Preaching Prize competition for my work on this topic. To watch this funny, brief sermon, click here.
This God Revealed moment has since transformed every aspect of my life. It saved me a lifetime of aggravation as an attorney and empowered me to discover vocations that nourish my soul. Thanks to the ‘God Card’ I can now also appreciate the significance of sacrificing my coat three years ago. In accord with the Gospel’s account of Bartimaeus, I too threw off my cloak, sprang up, and began to live into what I was created for (Mark 10:50). After all, what good is a coat if I would be uncomfortable in my own skin?
Nick resides in New York City and offers preaching, keynote speaking, writing/editing, oratorical coaching, and wedding officiant services both nationally and internationally. Each service taps into the inspirational power of humor. For more information, please visit nickmosca.com or e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org