In an earlier post, I reported on my Lenten observance this year: that of seeking to see God in everyone I encounter. As might be expected, I have done an abysmal job of this so far. Long years of crusty habit have made the faults and foibles of others too easy for me to find, and God gets lost in all the judging.
And yet. . . There was a day, one day, a week or two ago now, that I walked in to work and gazed around at all the people—the sea of faces (I currently work in a large municipal library). And what I saw on each face was the touch of God, the Divine Presence looking back at me and saying, “Here I am; here in this person I have made.” The room swam and I literally caught my breath as I recognized God everywhere—walking and talking and looking back at me.
Sometimes, it seems as if God is very far away, and we have to look awfully hard for any kind of reminder that God even remembers us. Sometimes, though, God is right there in front of us, looking us full in the face. Would that I always saw God so clearly!
And then the moment passed. And, of course, by the next day, those I encountered were the same irritating, rude people they always are (and so was I). I did not see the presence of God in the people I encountered, and now halfway through Lent, I catch myself even forgetting to look.
But there was a day I saw it. And I will never forget it. I think that if I can make this practice a habit, and learn regularly to see God in others (in whatever way God is present in them), I will encounter God more often. I wouldn’t feel quite so often as if God is so far away. Instead, I would talk with God every day, in every person I meet. Whoever seeks, finds.