Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea. Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me. If I say, "Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night," Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day Darkness and light are alike to You.
~ Psalm 139:7 - 12
"I just can't seem to find God," she shared with me. Her head lowered, and she began to cry as the middle-aged woman looked over at her mother who no longer knows her name. The two have spent the last twenty years living together. The first five of those years were filled with many trips, many friends, and many memories. "Alzheimer's introduced itself to my mother about six years ago, and then they began traveling without me."
With each year that passed, her mother's presence changed, until the woman no longer recognized her daughter, or knew many of the friends that they had once spent hours upon hours with. The daughter admitted, "I just finally gave up, and now we are here." She looks around a very "institutional green room," as she describes it.
She looked at me and commented that she keeps remembering the verse from Peter of "waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God," hoping that "today will be that day."
She admits that she wishes that her mother could just finally, "pass away," noting that it is too hard to "see her like this," and then admitting feeling "guilty."
"How does anyone wish that their mother would just die?" She begins to cry even harder.
I hugged her and shared, "The greatest gift of love that we can give to one another is when we realize that we must surrender ourselves and those that we love to God. It is no longer waiting to hasten God's arrival, it is our ability to sit and open our eyes and to begin to see what God is doing."
For any of us, our waiting, watching, and even our serving others, has to do with being able to wait with our eyes open and actually become "seers."
Last Sunday I reminded our little faith community where I was speaking that while Jesus was carrying the cross throughout the streets of Jerusalem, those present were also being invited to see what lengths God will go to ensure that we get a glimpse of what God is doing.
John, even in the wilderness declared, "The Kingdom of God is at hand!"
God's coming is all around us!
During Lent we are invited to remove blinders, or even blindfolds that many of us wear each day, and look around us. To sit in quiet places and to look not only outward, but inward as well. To understand that the coming of the Lord is hastened when we are able to invite God to be present with us where we are!
This woman's sharing reminded me that we are to keep our eyes open. To seek to find ways that the Spirit of the Living God can touch us, speak to us, and guide. Even to places that may suddenly be unpredictable, and even difficult. Becoming a "seer," reminds me that we are to look fully at God. It is in our "seeing," that we encounter God's grace and mercy.
Open your eyes and see the God that encircles us, and who pursues after us, waiting for moments to be able to catch up with us! God is always within us, even when God seems to be beyond us.
We are invited to loosen our grip on life, and instead, allow God to hold us in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2019
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Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.