A few evenings ago, God breezed by for a short visit. I wasn’t expecting one. He doesn’t usually do that. It only lasted a minute or so. I was looking over a campsite, thinking about what to do next. My wife was nearby. She saw it happen. When it was over, she asked me if I was okay. She was the first one to say, she thought it was God. I told her, I thought so too.
It wasn’t like you might expect. You’d think it would be terrifying, or awesome. I mean, “GOD,” you know? Nothing like that. It was easy, peaceful, like the quiet of a light snowfall, like Silent Night.
I felt His presence, as one might in communion or meditation; but this time, He breezed right into me. He was looking at the world through MY eyes, while I just watched Him do it.
He wasn’t being judgmental. He was just … getting it. He was seeing what I see, all of it, in an instant; my perceptions of family, politics … life, what was going on. It was like how they say your life might flash before your eyes; not my history so much as my appraisal, as if an old friend wanted to know how I was doing, what I thought and how I felt.
Then, I got something like a “Thank you.” I felt that He understood. I was satisfied. And then He moved on. I still feel, when I remember it, the tingle of Grace I was left with. It took a few seconds for me to start looking outward again, as my wife touched my arm; and then I awoke.
Now, there are lots of reasons to doubt what happened here. First, it happened at night, while I was asleep, during a dream. Was it just a dream? I’ve had some lucid dreams before, but never one like this. So, like everything else that might ever involve God, I can’t say for sure what happened.
Dreams are mystical. Sometimes they are insightful, and sometimes they are ridiculous. But they seem to be important somehow. We do seem to be closer to God in our dreams. Maybe it’s easier for our conscience to communicate when our guard is down.
Maybe it was just me telling myself something I wanted to hear – that God understands what’s going on. Still, it was … unusual.
Then there’s the elephant in the room: Why would God – the sin que non of all existence, the Being who’s behind what’s behind what’s behind my eyes in the first place – need to drop in to get a heads-up on what’s going on with me? He wouldn’t, of course. But He might do it for another reason.
Maybe he does it more often than we think, and it’s just that we seldom notice. Maybe He does it to stay in touch with humanity’s humanity. Maybe He does it for our reassurance. Maybe he does it to remind us of who He is – that He’s with us, or that He really does know what’s going on.
We often think of God as the cosmic creator. In the business of life, God may seem far away. “Why would God care about little old me.” We never see God actually move, which leaves us wondering if He really had anything to do with what just happened. But I think, as religious study seeks to remind us, that the veil between God and man is thinner than we usually think.
Have you ever seen the movie, BFG? The Big Friendly Giant whisks an inquisitive girl off to Giant Land for an adventure. He’s huge, but as he sneaks through the town, no one ever sees him. He moves when they’re not looking; and in their peripheral vision, he assumes the shape of a tree, or a telephone pole, or the shadow of a building. God is like that.
I like to watch for the little things God does. It’s like watching for Easter eggs in a movie. Sometimes they are small and fleeting. Sometimes they seem big and obvious. I wonder, WHGW – What Hath God Wrought?! Of course, I can never prove that God hath “wrought” anything in particular. But like in BFG, I sometimes swear I caught a glimpse of Him up to something in the corner of my mind’s eye. And that’s enough for me.
God isn’t our babysitter; but it’s reassuring to think He really does know what’s going on, and to think He might take more than a passing interest in it, and to think we might occasionally catch a glimpse of Him through the divine veil. As grampa used to say, it’s better than a sharp stick in the eye.