Lately I've felt like my conversations with God were one-sided. Lots of thoughts, questions, and prayers from me, but I perceived silence from God. I longed for a deeper daily experience of God but couldn't seem to find it.
I made up a rationale for his silence. I thought, surely, if I spent some time each day in contemplative silence, I could somehow earn the closeness with him that I desired. I had created false rules of engagement with God, which in the juggle of life with a new baby, work, friends, family, I couldn't stick to. Those old voices of religion are hard to shake.
One Sunday morning, Conor and I did carve out time for makeshift church on our couch. We started with listening prayer — 10 minutes of silence side-by-side, with a wiggling baby on my lap. In that short time, there was spit up in my hair, a leaking diaper, and baby whines cutting through the quiet. Despite how far the scenario was from my idealized version of meaningful “time with God”, I could feel God smiling, nodding and saying to me, I’m already right here.
There's a children's book I've been reading with my son called I See You. The small cardboard book has lines like: I see you in the butterfly who flutters and soars. I see you in the lion who purrs sweetly, then roars.
I've felt God nudging me through this book. Instead of the butterfly and the lion, he's challenging me to see him in the life going on all around me. To see Him in my baby boy's warm squishy cheeks that make my insides swell with love, in the devotion of my mother who cleans our kitchen and does our shopping when we’re short on time, in the hospitality of our friends who invite us to their dinner table and ask thoughtful questions, in the feeling through my body on a run through the forest, in the knowing embrace of my husband when I’ve had a long day.
He is gently and continually showing me his presence all around me. It is unearned and ever present in the sticky, sometimes stressful, beautiful, ordinary and extraordinary moments of my everyday life.