As a child I felt God’s presence strongly. I remember digging in my sandbox with Jesus or reading a picture book with him. It seemed every good thing was a delight God had left just for me to discover. I felt assured of God’s love as I felt his presence close.
Now, as an adult, the world’s volume is much louder than it was for me as a child. It has become more difficult to find Christ’s voice in the clamor. When the world spins around me and I feel myself unsteady, I put away the smartphone and the earbuds, and I imagine Christ’s presence with me as I move through the day.
Today we go out to lunch.
We walk to the café together, and I imagine Jesus there beside me, just as I remembered in the sandbox so long ago. He notices the construction workers breaking up the concrete with their jackhammers. He knows them well, knows their lives at home, the way the tall one always plays rock-paper-scissors with his son when he comes home at night. The two of them play till one of them hits five wins. He loves them. I smile as one of the workers halts traffic for me to pass.
As we move past the construction, into the quieter part of my neighborhood, Jesus notices the leaves turning color. He picks up a leaf in the most brilliant of reds and hands it to me. “I know you love autumn. I love to watch you delight in it each year.” I take the leaf and press it into the journal I’m carrying.
At the café he talks to the waitress. She lights up in a way I’ve never seen her before. She tells us a story about how both she and her mother learned English when they moved to the States through watching Sesame Street. She shares this story as a gift. I know this is because she feels seen, loved in a small connection between strangers.
Our lunch arrives. It’s coconut carrot soup with crusty fresh bread. I haven’t tried it before. When I lean in to try it, Christ holds the spoon, blowing it gently, like a grandmother offering me a taste from the pot she cooked especially for me. It’s delicious, like autumn itself. I am reminded how much I feel love through food as I dip the bread to soak in the soup.
As Jesus walks me back home, I notice everything. Squirrels chase each other up and down the trees. An elderly neighbor is getting his hair cut by a family member on his porch. A toddler makes piles of leaves in her yard while her mother watches, laughing. The welcome beams of sunshine shine down on me. I rest in the light, like a cat sunning itself.
I know that by offering up this time as a prayer, I’ve seen the world through his eyes. I’ve seen the beauty swirling around me, and as the breeze passes over me, I know I am loved.