“I found God on the corner of first and Amistad” is the first line of The Fray’s song You Found Me, that got me thinking: where do I think I might find God? Perhaps I’ve been looking in the wrong places. And if I found him what would I ask or what would I like to say? Certainly The Fray’s song asks some hard and uncomfortable questions of God: in the dark times of life where was he? Isn’t it irreligious to even think of asking God such things? The song is great because of the intensity of the raw emotion flung at God by a person who had expected so much more – and I think that the very act of protesting and questioning is in itself an act of faith – honest, heart-felt, disappointing, not-dodging-the-hard-stuff, faith.
I was reading the story of the Jewish prophet Elijah, when he was being persecuted and hounded by the evil Jezebel, and how he fled to the wilderness, feeling overwhelmed and wanting to die. The story has it that God showed him a thing or two:- a mighty wind shattering rocks apart, an earthquake shaking the very ground he stood on, and a terrifying fire, fierce and intense. Yet, it says, God was not in all these things. Then after all this noise and tumult and cataclysm, there came a still small voice: an oh-so-quiet whisper that would be easy to miss or dismiss. And yet Elijah knew that in the calm, unassuming sound there was the very presence of God.
So perhaps, in the first butterfly of the year that I saw on Sunday, and in the chirping of the robins who accompany me in my garden digging, and in the budding of the new apple tree; in the kindness of friends whose plants fill my garden, and in the smile of the barista at the coffee shop – perhaps in all these things God is present to me if I have eyes to see and ears to hear.