The Hiddenness of God

A jealous political leader, scapegoated immigrants, government run by self promoters who are out of touch with their population, politics of "us against them," motives driven by sexism, ethnocentrism, and nationalism.  Sound familiar?

This is an avid description of the Assyrian cultural drama surrounding the Jews in exile from the Book of Esther in the Bible.  How can a story from antiquity be filled with so many issues and challenges that mirror our current life-scape?

The syncretism focuses our eyes to see that throughout the ages people have experienced life filled with ambiguity and mystery.  It begs the question, "where is God in the chaos of this world?"  Where was God the day of the bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon?  Where was God the day an F5 tornado ripped apart a school and community in Oklahoma?  Where is God in a civil war in Syria that has brought devastation to family, clan and culture, with threatening overtones of drawing nations into another world war?

Whether an act of terrorism, a natural disaster, or a government's choice, for many people, on any given day, God appears to be hidden or veiled in a world needing guidance, intervention, and restoration.  How can anyone, even a person of faith, persist in the void of the hiddenness of God?

Perhaps the only way to make sense of it is to come to the realization that God's presence in this world
is expressed through acts of love and service coming though the lives of ordinary people - just like you and me.  God appears hidden or distant, when in fact God is opening space for each of us to be hands, feet, and love - in the flesh.

What if spiritual formation or the concept of The Divine isn't about security or finding an arsenal of answers to every question in the universe?  What if it is about embracing a world of ambiguity and mystery with all the intentionality and passion a young child expresses when holding a puppy?  There is a "wonderful strangeness" that pervades the spirit when we realize that we have been designed by a loving creator who doesn't fix the world for us, but who invites us into a grand plan of hope and restoration.

You may run into someone today who is sure God is hidden.  You may be the only other person on the face of this earth to show them, through your words, actions, and love, that what is unseen is real, and that God isn't really hidden, only veiled and waiting to bring restoration through the actions of love.