We’ve been given this insane gift of life. We’re living in the midst of the Resurrection. And all day, all night, still our hearts ask, Where is God?
Early in my sobriety I began to realize that God was the things, or in or behind the things, or had created the things, that I’d loved my whole life. Bach cantatas, all flowers, all birds. The man or woman who suffered and who didn’t complain and who tried to help the next person.
Oh—that’s God. The blue heron. The trees that changed color in fall. That swelling in my heart when the tattooed guy with three months of sobriety choked up as he said, “My wife cut me out of her life, but she’s gonna let me see my two-year-old daughter. I’m gonna see my little girl next week.”
I’ve also met people who were never going to cross the threshold of any church and who had a deep God-consciousness. “God is polite!” they’d say wonderingly. Or longingly, “I want a God with a face!” or “You know what I realized yesterday? God isn’t mad at me! I always thought God was mad at me.”
We’re all onto something. As Meister Eckhart observed, God is like a suitor. He never forces himself on us, but if we have eyes to see, he’s everywhere. “Hey, over here, check it out: a ruby-throated hummingbird!” “Hello there, you with the heavy heart, look, a sunrise!” “Yoo-hoo, I know you think no one loves you, but look, this beggar man is dying to touch your hand!”
Things changed for me when I began to see that I had always loved God and that what I did each morning—that sitting quietly watching the light, listening to the sparrows, feeling incoherently grateful, letting my mind wander to the mysteries of the universe—was prayer.
—Excerpted from Holy Desperation by Heather King