You come and go. The doors swing closed ever more gently, almost without a shudder Of all who move through the quiet houses, you are the quietest.
We become so accustomed to you, we no longer look up when your shadow falls over the book we are reading and makes it glow. For all things sing you: at times we just hear them more clearly. ~Rainer Maria Rilke from The Book of Hours: Love Poems to God
God can be so quiet around us we scarcely think of Him tiptoeing around our distractions.
But then a moment of flash, a rainbow glow, a subtle sacred song in our ears
and we remember: He’s here watching knowing holding on to us reeling us back in when we drift away.
If that’s what he means,’ says the student to the poetry teacher, ‘why doesn’t he just say it?’
‘If God is real,’ says the parishioner to the preacher, ‘why doesn’t he simply storm into our lives and convince us?’
The questions are vastly different in scale and relative importance, but their answers are similar.
A poem, if it’s a real one, in some fundamental sense means no more and no less than the moment of its singular music and lightning insight; it is its own code to its own absolute and irreducible clarity.
A god, if it’s a living one, is not outside of reality but in it, of it, though in ways it takes patience and imagination to perceive.
Thus the uses and necessities of metaphor, which can flash us past our plodding resistance and habits into strange new truths.
We are an impatient and unimaginative people; we want proof of God and we want it now. Yet we plod through our days blind and deaf to His presence in our lives, with little awareness of Him walking beside us.
So each day I try to take the blinders off and look for Him, listen for Him and wait on Him to make His presence known.