Thursday, May 04, 2006

The View

I've been reading a book that a friend loaned me: The Sacrament of the Present Moment (originally Self-Abandonment to Divine Providence). I love this passage:

You are seeking God, dear sister, and he is everywhere. Everything proclaims him to you, everything reveals him to you, everything brings him to you. He is by your side, over you, around and in you. Here is his dwelling and yet you still seek him. Ah! You are searching for God, the idea of God in his essential being. You seek perfection and it lies in everything that happens to you – your suffering, your actions, your impulses are the mysteries under which God reveals himself to you.

Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Well, there’s a nut that could take the rest of our lives to crack. But some days I think I see the order and sense of it, the creeping edges of a sort of light. So one foot falls in front of the other, tentatively.

And yet in the days when that light is obscured, there is actually less deliberation about what to do, isn’t there? He has not left us bereft – in his Word there are a hundred straightforward, honourable things with which to fill our days: love your neighbour, do your work, serve the needy, do the work of the church, all that stuff. If we balk at these routine things (and I do, I do!) and crave merely the flashy, the powerful, the unique, it is our pride at work, not our faith.

God is hiding in buying the groceries, paying the bills, washing the car and doing our taxes (ouch!). More than that, God is hiding in the day gone awry, the marriage in trouble and the diagnosis you prayed you’d never hear. Wrapped in frustration and affliction, God moves at the heart of it all, like Lazarus’ freshly beating heart wrapped in his stinking graveclothes.

The moments, all moments, are jewels on a string. De Caussade says: “We must therefore allow each moment to be the cause of the next; the reason for what precedes being revealed in what follows, so that everything is linked firmly and solidly together in a divine chain of events.”

I rarely see it but, as Madeline L’Engle said once: I have a point of view; God has View.


At 5:10 am, May 05, 2006, Blogger Paula said...

Someone said from the pulpit a month or two ago: "God doesn't play hide and seek." I disagreed so much that I wanted to stand up and leave.

I think if I sat down with that speaker we would come to agreement, though. His point was that God is available to us, he wouldn't squirrel himself away...

...but I think God DOES play hide and seek, not as a malicious or rebellious child who doesn't want to be found, but as the grandfather playing with his kids, hiding behind the curtain with his toes poking out. God plays.

Thank you for the points to ponder!

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