I remember, as a kid, sitting in dad’s little church on Talcott street in Sedro-Woolley, squinting my eyes during the ‘pastoral’ prayer, trying to see God. That was usually one long prayer. Dad wasn’t afraid of using an extended period of agonizing silence for the lead-in; and sometimes during the talking part, in his deep reverend voice, he’d get on a roll. After all, it was pastoral and he was talking to God, and all.
With the framed-almost-photo of the long-haired blond-headed Western-looking Jesus behind me hanging on the wall on the right, I was certain that if there was a God, he’d appear here. “Must be here somewhere,” I was thinking as I’d squint and gently turn my head from side to side. Had to be careful, though. Didn’t want anyone to see me – looking – couldn’t do that. But usually it was safe. It was a serious crowd of Presbiters and they seemed to be getting into it – heads nodding, up and down.
What I didn’t figure out then and, in fact, only just realized this morning was that the ‘seeing was in the looking.’
That is, that which was ‘looking out’ is what was being ‘looked for.’ The instrument of perception – the eyes – were actually the vehicle of awareness itself.
In other words, I wasn’t seeing God because he wasn’t there. S/he was there! Just not as an ‘object’ of awareness. Godness was in the ‘seeing’ that was ‘looking’ because, Lord only knows, the seeing that was looking through the squinting, was looking for itself.