Presence and Absence

I’m sure that most of my blog’s regular readers know what I mean by feeling “the Presence of God.” Yet I wonder how many people in the general population know it. Is it something that most sense a few times in their lives, or that most “believe in” but do not feel? I don’t know. Our language is poorly equipped to express it, and our cultures, including many of our churches and religious environments, don’t really encourage it, either.

As for myself, I usually have a sense of God’s presence with me–a knowing of presence that’s definitely more than “belief” although it’s not always a conscious thing. Yet whenever I turn my mind or heart to God, very, very definitely, that *presence* has been there.

Today, something odd happened, in a perfectly ordinary moment at work, I suddenly felt God’s presence again, and realized that I hadn’t realized that I hadn’t felt it for weeks. It was a strange (though welcome!) revelation… kind of like if I’m looking for my cat in his usual hiding places, and turn and see that he’s on the bed, amused by the fact that he had hidden himself in plain sight.

Although I know God wasn’t absent, it was strange that he seemed to be, and doubly strange that I didn’t notice that the feeling of presence was absent until it returned. I find it sad to think this may be what many, if not most, people’s spiritual lives are like most of the time.

Hidden Presence

it was like you had gone.
i was here, alone behind my eyes,
alone in my home,
alone in my car and cubicle.
days ended and days began,
days faded into days,
and I was alone.

so suddenly, you're back,
like the sun breaking through the cloud,
like the fading twilight
revealing heaven's stars
like the passing of the winter
uncovering the life that was there
all the time, always.

so why do you hide
my love, my lord?
why do you play these games
so cruel, so tender,
pretending to be absent?

next time may it be i
absenting myself in you.