In January 2012, Catholic Digest ran my conversion story in their monthly Open Door segment. I only had 500 words to tell my tale, and even that was trimmed slightly for publication. Since then, I’ve written a longer version of the same story, and that devotional essay is the latest conversion story featured at Why I’m Catholic.
“Beauty will save the world.” – Alexander Solzhenitsyn
God speaks to us all the time, but he usually speaks in subtle ways. Beautiful whispers that draw us little by little toward him. God spoke to me many times in the most unlikely places, although I didn’t recognize his voice until much later.
Thirty years ago when I was in high school, God whispered to me for the first time. My mom bought a book at a garage sale titled Men, Ships, and the Sea. It was beautiful: filled with color photos of all kinds of ships, fine works of nautical art, rapturous descriptions of sailing, but the most beautiful thing in the book was left there by its previous owner. When I opened the pages for the first time, a picture of Jesus slipped out. As a Protestant, and a nominal one at that, I didn’t recognize the image of the Sacred Heart but the simple beauty of that picture spoke to me. I mounted it that day – a single tack piercing the spot labeled “If you wish to hang up this picture make a hole here.” That picture has moved with me several times since, and today it hangs at my bedside.