Throughout my life, the presence of God has been very different. When I was younger, I felt God daily. There was even a time in my life when I considered becoming a priest. Obviously, I did not go down that path, I found that my true calling was in music. I grew up within an extremely devout New Mexico, Spanish Catholic household. Now, if you don’t know what that means, it means that we didn’t necessarily love God, we were mostly terrified of the Devil, and Evil. God, for most of my life, was mostly a protector from Evil. I knew to call upon him for help when I felt evil in my life. It wasn’t until later, when I was divorced, and my mother was diagnosed with cancer, that I started wanting God not as a protector, but as a friend, someone I could turn to when everything was dark in my life. Since then, my relationship with God has changed. I don’t find that just going to church satisfies my desire for God. I need to actively participate, I sing in the choir. I feel that I don’t connect if I’m just sitting in a pew; I need to give back at the same time that I’m receiving. In my life now, I’ve found that a quote from a High School teacher speaking at an induction ceremony, has had the most profound effect of allowing God into my life. At the end of the speech he said, “if you take nothing else away from this speech, remember this: Do what you can, when you can, for those who can’t”. Those words inspired me more than I ever realized. Now, in my mid-thirties, I find that God is with me, when I am helping; when I take a pillow and blanket to a homeless man I’ve seen 4 nights in a row, when I make sure someone has food to eat, when I sit and listen to students sing and get to sing with them. It is these moments when I catch myself giving of myself, that I find God within me.