Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there. If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast.
In the film The Usual Suspects Kevin Spacey’s character Verbal Kint says; “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” I believe that may be true, but it is not the most impressive “trick.” For me the greatest trick is planting the seed of doubt about the existence of God in the hearts of humankind. There is no need to convince people that God does not existence when we are perfectly capable of analyzing ourselves out of believing anything.
Those who are adamant about the lack of proof of a God, let alone a God of compassion and justice, will often share a personal story about a time when God was not visible when they needed something. For these individuals the psalm of David that I quoted above rings false in their ears and heart. “Show me proof for I have sought for clarity and received silence in return.”
It is offensive to their minds to suggest that they must have faith. In their minds “faith” is refusing to pursue the question far enough. Faith for the battered soul can be perceived as an intellectual white flag. Yet, as is the case in many stories, there is always someone in their lives that loves them and that constantly reminds them; “I am praying for you.”
For some people, the patience and prayers produce a fertile soil that is ready to consider the question of a God in light of the things that cannot be measured by the mental facilities of the human intellect. For others the wait continues.
Here is what I know. In my pursuit of knowledge and exploring the wisdom recorded in our human story there is enough information available for me to conclude that we will not be able to know fully the whole story of life. We will, with the passing of each generation, learn more than the previous tenants, but we will not reach the crowning achievement of full knowledge. This does not discourage me in anyway. In fact I look forward to what we will discover next.
The other part of this awareness is to humbly say that there are forces at work that go unseen and the ancient interpretation of the “hand of God” is more likely than not. To refuse this possibility is to arrogantly place my ‘faith’ in my limited capacity to comprehend the total story of life visible and beyond our sight.
Is it really “giving up” to say that there is a God whom no one can escape? For some the answer is yes and others no.
Will this little rambling satisfy or at least provide guidance to the wandering soul? Perhaps, but I trust that the God who has been at work in my life when I rejoiced in thanksgiving and railed against in pain can use these words as God so desires.
Here is what I would like to leave you with; You are loved. You are not alone. I am praying for you.