“You will find stability at the moment when you discover that God is everywhere, that you do not need to seek God elsewhere, that God is here, and if you do not find God here it is useless to go and search elsewhere because it is not God that is absent from us, it is we who are absent from God…. This is important because it is only at the moment you recognize this that you can truly find the fullness of the Kingdom of God in all its richness within you. -Anthony Bloom
The week before Christmas Layne and I were frantically trying to drag in a large package (Scott’s Christmas gift) from outside so that we could hide it before he arrived home.
Apparently during that time, Moe, the rescue dog with pee anxiety that apparently has captured my heart, made a run for it. Apparently the “grass is greener on the outside.”
Neither of us knew he bolted outside.
Half an hour later I was finishing up preparing for dinner and I noticed that Moe was nowhere around. That was odd because typically if it involves food of any manner, he is ever-present.
I yelled for Layne, asking her if she had Moe.
The lack of verbal response and the sound of feet running downstairs gave me the answer I needed to know.
We immediately began the search by whistling, clapping, and loudly calling his name.
We called and called . . . then we would wait.
With no street lights and no moonlight, we continued our calling.
Panic set in.
The only idea I could come up with was to get in the car and drive around the neighborhood to see if his adventurous self could be spotted.
I’m rather confident my slow perusing the neighborhood brought heightened alarm, causing neighbors to think there was a neighborhood stalker. The third time around the circle they began staring out their windows . . . I smiled (like they could see my face – duh), threw up my hand, and continued slowly driving.
After ten minutes of that – I returned home, hopeful Layne would have better news.
Without thinking, I drove past the driveway around the back of the house, only briefly thinking of the damage this jaunt would cause the yard Scott had worked so hard to seed/groom.
I drove to the middle of the backyard and sat there – lights on and shining off into the trees.
With no noise, no calling him, all of a sudden he reappeared. I opened the door and in he jumped, seemingly carefree.
I found myself wondering, “Could you not just ANSWER ME?”
What about a bark? A howl? Even a yelp!?!?!?
If we could have just known he was ok . . . I feel sure several weeks could have been saved on my longevity.
The practice of saying “here” is a spiritual discipline. It ushers us into the presence of God. I can only imagine how much EASIER and LESS STRESSFUL the night would have been if Moe had the capacity to yell out “here!”
When we feel as if we are far from God, often times we think we must “get to a special place” so that we can encounter God. That isn’t true. God accepts us and meets us where we are . . .
That happens when we say . . .
“God, I am here.”
When we take the time to utter that word, we are participating and connecting to the presence of the Divine.
Thoughts to Ponder:
Today . . . as you begin a new week, practice just saying “here” using one of these phrases . . .
- “Here I am, Lord. Here you are, Lord. Here we are together.”
- Who am I, Lord? Who are you, Lord? Who are we together?”
Briefly write down the answers that ruminate in your mind as you speak these thoughts to God and listen.
I believe you will be surprised what you find.
McLaren, Brian D. (2011-03-15). Naked Spirituality: A Life with God in 12 Simple Words (p. 40). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.