When I was a child, one of my favorite possessions was a small, round, wooden box with a handful of dolls the size of matchsticks. They had been handmade in the country of Guatemala, in Central America.
They were called “Trouble Dolls.”
The idea was to take out each doll and whisper my troubles to her. My secrets, my heartaches, my worries. The things I didn’t want to tell anybody else.
And then I would put them back into the box and secure the little, well-fitting lid. The Trouble Dolls would hold my secrets for me.
Maybe they would solve my problems overnight.
At least I had released my burden and had somebody to share it with!
Angels and Spirit Guides are a bit like Trouble Dolls. They are with us all the time, and they know all the details of what’s bothering us.
Sometimes, though, we need a real, concrete something to hold in our hands, to feel as though we are loved and heard and cherished.
These matchstick figures, though tiny, represent an enormous grace given to us by God: that we are known and loved.
I’m totally fine with symbols (#Catholic).
A lot of the Catholic Church’s symbols were adopted and adapted (aka stolen) from the pagans (Christmas tree, Easter egg, and tons more). Why? Because these symbols were effective and memorable.
These symbols, like the Egg and the Tree evoked real truths about life (Spring will come again, after the darkness of Winter).
Humans need pictures to look at and objects to touch.
We know intellectually, with our minds and our hearts, that God is present and around us.
God is in the wind and the rain, the Sun and the thunderstorms … but then, when we’re in real pain, we ask: what about ME and MY PROBLEMS? We need something real, not something as abstract as the weather.
If it would help you, consider creating or finding a reminder of God’s presence.
Maybe it’s a bracelet or a key ring?
Maybe it’s a tattoo?
I’m by no means suggesting that this symbol would take the place of God — idol worship seems empty and pointless, doesn’t it?
But when God is so massive and omnipresent, but somehow not comprehensibly *here*, it does help to have reminders.
By the time I turned twelve years old, my Trouble Dolls had gotten lost, probably under the bed with my long-overdue library books, individual socks, and late homework.
I believe they did their job, however: the Trouble Dolls listened and held my troubles for me, and I didn’t have those particular worries any more.
May you find your own constant physical reminder of God’s presence in your life, and may your dialogue with your divine guidance grow stronger and stronger. God is still speaking to us, every day in every way.
Always remember, you are guided!