Jun 17, 2023 filed under Faith, Trust.


Here’s one of the many paradoxes of the spiritual life: through surrender to God, we achieve our greatest freedom. I found this out when I was 11.

My father was an accountant who played banjo on weekends at Shakey’s Pizza. Sometimes our whole family went to see him perform. He and his partner at the piano dressed in gay-’90s garb, complete with boater hat and sleeve garters. His signature song, “Bye, Bye Blues,” which ended with wild strumming in anticipation of the final note, always brought down the house and made us proud.

It was in the middle of such a lively evening that I told my mother, “I don’t get why I would believe or trust God more than anyone else.” Despite the ridiculous occasion I had chosen to ask, she looked me in the eye and said, “We never know what the other side of the chasm really looks like until we jump over. It’s called a leap of faith. Try it—you’ll see for yourself.”

Leaping God’s way
I had my big chance to try it the next day when I wanted to strangle my sister, who occupied half of what I thought of as my bedroom. Instead of being mean, I asked God to make me not feel mean. As my mom had suggested, I leapt God’s way and trusted him to catch me.

I couldn’t believe what happened next—I wasn’t mad anymore. I was actually being nice to my sister! I had witnessed the impossible with my own eyes. Since then, I have had many similar experiences, but that was the starkest example of all. I had instantly been freed from conflict to virtue, from anger to peace. And I had no doubt that trust in God had made it happen.

Losing my trust
But I drifted away from God as a teenager and spent years with my back turned. Maybe I thought He was only good at turning away anger. Maybe I was too ashamed to ask Him for help. I don’t know why I stayed away so long.

At age 27, I thought I was happy. But my journal from that time shows that I was deeply unsettled. I was unhappy without even knowing it because I didn’t remember that anything more solid or peaceful existed than a life of drama and disappointment.

Reconnecting with God
Trust entered my life again after my friend Lauren reintroduced me to the God who wants to develop a relationship with me and guide me to stability and clarity in all the areas of my life. As I grew to realize what a gift that was, I never turned away again.

It may be that we can’t “see” the results of trusting God, but we can experience them powerfully. I’m glad I took Mom’s advice and tried it for myself. During times when it’s hard to trust, we need to make an act of faith in Jesus as the demoniac’s father did in Mark 9:24: “I do believe, help my unbelief!”

Admitting our dependence on God brings us back to him and enables him to reach us with his all-forgiving mercy, by which we can begin again.

Love always,

13 Responses to “Finding God in a Pizza Parlor”

  1. Annamae

    Thank you for all your prayers and sharing. You’re a true disciple of love

  2. Rosie

    “Love is a verb, not a noun.” Thank you, Rose, for reminding us to show our love acting with His faith. May all the Fathers, past, present and future, plus all the priests and men who have provided us with their care, faith, protection and love, be prayed for today. Amen

  3. Jan Mullin

    Thank you , Rose, for another lovely life lesson. May God Bless you abundantly on this Father’s Day as we remember our earthly fathers and give thanks for the great Love of Our Heavenly Father!

    With Love In The Three Hearts,
    Jan Mullin

  4. Kathy

    Thank you for this Rose. I myself am having trouble with taking that leap of faith. I am trying little by little but I seem to fail more than succeed.

  5. Susie

    So true, Rose! “I believe, help my unbelief” comes out of my mouth often. I also pray … “IJesus trust in You, help my lack of trust.” I do so with / in faith, even half a mustard seed will work. The results are not alwasy immediate, and may come in a completely different way that I might have thought, or wanted, but God, our Daddy hears us. Jesus is WITH us, and shares in our pain, and feels what we feel, He’s felt it all, too. Praise God, He will never leave us and we have our Blessed loving Mother to call on, too. No matter what, it WILL be okay, if we remain faithful. That doesn’t mean we’ll never feel afraid or sometimes lack trust, but just uttering that prayer is precious to our Lord. That tiny bit of faith is a gift we have by God’s grace and that pleases Him when we call on Him. If HE is with us, who can be against us? Or, what does it matter who is against us, if Jesus if for us? God bless you, Rose. Happy Lord’s Day!

  6. Tom Roberts

    I was sitting at mass this morning at Our Lady Queen of peace thinking back to all the events that got me there. Our musical liturgist, Caleb Mitchell, made the Steinway really rock on the recessional. I took the leap too, following in the footsteps of my Godmother to be. It was a smart move making up for less smart moves. There is always redemption.

    Great looking pizza! Where did you find it?

  7. Mary E Stroud

    My leap of faith happened Dec 8 1974 when I met Norma Moreau at sn evening of recollection st the Marian Center in Holyoke. That meeting and Norma’s invitation started the process of learning about and living a Dominican life. Praise God for His mercy over the years

  8. Joyce Miles

    Faith and prayer is all I need. What I can’t handle I turn it over to God and I know it will be worked out on his time.
    Patience is the key.
    Thanks for Sharing
    Bless Week

  9. Guadalupe

    Thank you Rose, for sharing your fait journey. May God always keep us close to His heart

  10. Diane Isabelle

    Great post, Rose. Wish I could have heard your dad play.