A friend who was going through a challenging phase in her life once asked me this question. I think she was searching for answers to her life being the way she perceived. But I wonder what she expected me to answer because she looked utterly startled when I went quiet for a few seconds and then said, “I have.”
Seeing just how taken aback she looked, I elaborated, “If you are thinking I have seen God standing before me with a hand raised in blessing; no, I haven’t. But I have felt the presence of God.”
It never fails – at least, not as far as I am concerned.
Each time, I gaze at a vast ocean teeming with unseen life, I feel a sense of calm rolling over me. The sensation is much like a parent gathering a child to her or his bosom and gently stroking the child to sleep.
Each time that I sit on top of a hillside and marvel at the intricate tapestry unravelling before my eyes, I feel the stroke of a Master Artist who’s beautiful creation has not only brought so much pleasure to generations and generations of viewers in Earth’s Art Gallery, but has sustained their very life.
Streams and rivers to quench many a parched throat and the very soil from where fresh life sustaining plants and trees spring. The symphony of a cuckoo’s call blending with the whisper of the wind rustling the leaves of a tree and the scurrying sounds of a furry creature backing away into the safety of the undergrowth.
The beauty is that at such moments, you don’t feel that you are the audience but a part of the symphony. The sense of connectedness you feel cannot be matched even by the best sex ever!
To my mind, that’s the loving hand of God reaching out, placing a hand on your head and drawing you into His (Her:)) world.
Even in the world created by us Homo sapiens, I have felt the presence of God on many an occasion.
I remember this time when I was crying myself silly over the thoughtlessness and insensitivity of some friends. I was sitting on the floor in a darkened room with only a 1-year old child playing by himself in one corner. I was oblivious to the presence of the child with my head on my knees till I felt a movement. I have no idea when the child had crawled over to me. But I will never forget what happened next. This babe-in-arms crawled up my sitting body and proceeded to nuzzle me and kiss me all over my face.
I have never felt that comforted ever in my life. That day, I felt the hand of God in the actions of that one-year old. God is in each of us. Or how could such a young soul respond to someone in distress?
There have been other times when I have felt a benign presence in some of my darkest hours. Be it, new people connections or the door to a job opening up when you needed it the most. Or even an Income Tax refund cheque arriving just in time to pay a hospital bill.
So, I may not have seen God in the way we tend to interpret seeing as something outside of us. But I have felt God as an ubiquitous presence around me and in the kind, loving actions of life forms!