Have you ever searched for something that you have misplaced? A book; a letter; a photo; a gift certificate put away for safe-keeping. I will look in all the usual hiding places, re-tracing my steps and trying to imagine what I could have done with the lost possession. Surely I didn’t throw it out. Or did I? Was I careless and tossed it out with other discards? Did I hide it away too well? Usually my searches are frantic and relentless. Too often they are fruitless. Sometimes I will find the hidden item with great relief. But mostly I just give up; surrendering the lost item to the great unknown. Is there some black hole in the universe that holds all my lost treasures? I suppose I will never know.
The Prophet Isaiah wrote, “Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near.” Is God another treasure that I have misplaced? Was I careless and too busy with other seemingly more important things to remember where God is in my life? Have I packed God away somewhere safe to retrieve on some special occasion – saving God until I have time or need? Or when I feel sufficiently worthy of God’s love?
It occurred to me this week that in the past I’ve probably misread Isaiah. God can ALWAYS be found and God is ALWAYS near. It’s me that is lost. It’s me that is distant.
So I’m searching. But I’m learning that God isn’t somewhere in the cosmos; somewhere high in the clouds above looking down on me. God is here. God is now.
And I’m finding God in the most ordinary places – in Deb’s love and devotion; in my grandchildren’s sweet voices and loving embraces; in the kindness of strangers; in music; in art; in nature; even in myself (often after a frantic and relentless search). God is here. God is now. Sometimes we just need to open our eyes (and our hearts) to see those glimpses of heaven in our midst.
I think that Isaiah was imploring us to make ourselves open to God’s call – “Stop searching; the Lord is here.”
Listen as the St. Louis Jesuits sing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLjgnSKepow