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Beside Restful Waters

“Some topsy-turvy God has decided that those on the bottom will be revealed as the true top, and those who try for the top will find nothing of substance there. Why such a disguise? Why such a game of hide-and-seek?”

I wish I had a nickel for every time somebody explained to me the way to find my Higher Power, my God.

Go to Jerusalem and walk in the footsteps of Jesus.

Go to Wounded Knee an stand in the blood field of my ancestors. Go to India and walk in the footsteps of the masters. Go to the scriptures and listen to the word of God. Go to the next conference about salvation.

Each of these suggestions has some aspect of validity. I find the validity, though, only in the opportunity to look within. True, I have been in some geographical locations that offer a Divine presence. Yet the truth of Divinity is lost in a façade unless the experience is an internal opportunity to surrender my expectations and remove the disguise of the external, the geographic, and the social climate.

I sit in a gathering of people struggling for sobriety. I share space with people whose reality is our shared trauma. I share a neighborhood where one is suffering their son’s tragic auto accident, leaving him paralyzed. I greet a neighbor whose spouse is fighting to survive chemotherapy. Here we find our Divinity, hidden in our fears and pains. Here we find the face of Power evident in willingness to listen without judgement. Here, I share the tears and unanswered questions about the very existence of God.

This is the game of hide-and-seek. Divinity is shared in the weakness of anger and tears. Divinity is hidden in the exhaustion of one’s effort to survive another day of needles, pills and pain. Divinity peaks through the doubt with a glimmer of love shared in the moment of the gentle touch, the kind word, or an unheard prayer.

Divinity is in the silent moment when the topsy-turvy storms of life are quiet, just for a moment or two. In a gentle breath of presence, we hear. In the soft caress of a touch, we feel. In the sincerity of a passing smile, we see.

One day I may walk the footsteps of the masters or of Jesus. I have been to Wounded Knee and to Iroquois Mountain. I have been to Mackinac Island and Madeline Island. I have been to Gettysburg. Each experience is a reminder. Yet, the deepest experience of Divine presence is living with each of you.

Our vulnerability, our surrender, our love is the power that holds me near the restful waters.

This isn’t magic or location or a place somewhere else.

This is here with each other.

Thank you.


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