“See. There is a God.”
There are these little moments in our lives when we are simply overwhelmed by awe.
For me it was kneeling in an alleyway in Mexico during a medical mission where I was spiritual support. (Meaning I played soccer with the local kids while they waited for medical care.) Looking for shade, I had gone around a corner into an alley to kneel in the shadow of a building a drink water. Two local kids came with me, telling me that they wanted to make a difference in their hometown. They wanted to do something about the poverty and pollution.
I felt like a total foreigner and yet like a sudden friend and brother to these two young men. We talked about the church and hope. Suddenly the sun shifted or an unseen cloud covered part of the sun and the harsh brightness faded to a soft golden orange light, and at the end of the alley this tree lit up with light and glowed. We all saw it and fell silent.
“See. There is a God,” one of the two said.
Our attention is caught up all the time in the lists and activities of our lives, but every now and again the grandeur of creation catches our attention.
But God is seeing that all the time. God sees the goodness of his creation all the time in every moment and in every place. That beach you know about from vacation, God is there all the time watching the waves dance along the sand. The Northern Lights and moments of new birth are always on display to God.
I know we tend to think of the ever-presence of God as something related to our inability to hide anything or get away with sin. Or somewhere to turn when our lives are wracked by tragedy or grief. But God is always and everywhere present to the rest of it too.
In fact, God is in the making of it always and everywhere. God is making and sustaining the amazing goodness of life right now. Maybe that is why God can forgive and be merciful so easily, because God can put our worst in the context of creation’s best.
We need a bigger vocabulary for the goodness of God and his creation.
In your life and mine, we forget all of that sometimes and put life in the wrong perspective, holding the moment’s suffering against a lifetime of glory. Life is hard, and for some people life is devastatingly hard to bear. I am not diminishing the reality of suffering.
In fact, seen in the light of what we could have and could experience, the lives we have fall short of what God could do with us. We will always be dealing with the distance between what could be and what is, but for a moment be still and become aware of the goodness of God and the goodness of creation.
We need to regularly experience joy and awe if we are to have an appropriate relationship to the God who made sunsets and elephants and waterfalls and the Horsehead Nebula. It is worthwhile to think of what spiritual discipline could help us regularly be caught up in God’s goodness.
Come Sunday and see with us what amazing things God is doing right now. -daniel+