Presence and Prayer

During the early days of space exploration, I came across this story (probably apocryphal) of two astronauts and their experience of space travel. The first astronaut, looking out of his space capsule into space, said: “I traveled into the heavens and I did not see God there.” The second astronaut, looking at the same scene, exclaimed: “I felt God’s presence at I gazed at both the earth and the moon and I imagined the universe as God was calling it out into existence.”

In his time, God says the word and it is. He said “Let there be light.” And there was light. Man sees the light and marvels at the brightness and searches for the word to capture the experience. For me, this process looks like the natural order of things. God says the word and the word takes form and substance, takes on flesh and reality. Man sees the form and substance and searches for the word or words to name that flesh and reality. This is the creative process.

Man marvels at life, strings his words together and writes stories that survive over time to be recognized as great literature. But even the greatest literature cannot quite fully capture the richness and beauty of the story of God’s creation. Man is awed by all the colors in nature and tries to capture all that beauty and truth in paintings or photographs that in time are preserved as works of art. But not even Michelangelo or Ansel Adams could ever truly capture the ineffable beauty there is the world or in the human form and faces. Man hears all the marvelous sounds in nature from the rush of the winds to the chirping of the birds to the beat of the waves to the rhythm of rain and mimics the sounds and rhythm to create great music. But now even the greatest symphony can rival the hymn that the whole universe is singing to its Creator.

This sensitivity to the Word and to its Origin, the Creator, is something I treasure and struggle to cultivate in me. I hear the sounds and I see the colors. I feel the emotions and I sense the inherent meaning in all that there is. And I know deep in my heart that there is a Presence and a Reason that keeps me in his all-embracing love. I meet him as a Person every morning when I pray.

Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her.
Luke 1:57-66

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