Where do you encounter God? Do you just encounter Him in your prayer time? Or do you see Him in everything around you?
Do you see Him in the strength of the rocks, the sturdiness and height of a pine tree, the depths of the ocean, in a smile or in the peace of a loved one as their earthly bodies begin to fade from this temporary home? Do you hear Him in the songs of the birds, the sound of the water falling, in the laughter of a child, the kindness spoken through a stranger or words you read in a book? Do you feel Him in the caress of a loved one, through the touch of the wind or the warmth of the sun? Do you know His presence is with you when you smell the scents of the wild flowers or the newness of spring after fresh falling rain? Do you taste His sweetness in the most delighted pastry or His passion in the bitterness of a glass of wine?
Are you aware of His presence through each of your senses? Everything around you, within you, that is a part of you encounters the presence of God. Are you too distracted to recognize Him in the smallest detail surrounding you?
I’ve read that when you lose one of your senses, the brain rewires and enhances other senses. Over a year ago, I began to notice that I was losing my hearing. There were some low tones that I absolutely could not hear. I love nature and I love walking or sitting near running water from a fall, a fountain or just across a bed of rocks. I also love to sit and listen to the birds. I find so much peace and rest in God’s presence when I am outdoors tuned into the sounds of nature. Losing my hearing was a bit scary and losing this piece of God’s presence in my life was just as bothersome.
In the spring of last year, after visiting my ENT, I was diagnosed with a genetic hearing disorder. My options were surgery that had a 1% chance of total hearing loss or hearing aids the rest of my life. After consulting with the surgeon, I decided to have the surgery. I remember contemplating a bad day in surgery, resulting in losing my hearing. The more I thought about it and the more I prayed about it, I began to feel at peace that if I lost my hearing perhaps God just wanted me to tune my other senses and see His presence through my sight, taste, touch and smell.
Through this experience and others in my life, I am realizing in this journey with God I can see, hear, taste, feel and smell His presence all day and all around me. And so can you – all it takes is to awaken your senses and awareness.
In nature, you can see the possibilities and strength of God by observing the strength of the rocks and the height of the pine trees. You can discover how intricate and special you are by observing the details of a flower, a leaf, or a butterfly. You can watch the bees as they move from flower to flower and only pollinate the flowers they are intended to and recognize you have a unique purpose just as these bees do. You can taste of His passion each time you consume the Eucharist and are transformed through Him. You can feel the embrace of His love through the hug of a child or a dear friend. As the wind blows across your face, you can feel His breath, breathe life into your being.
Today, I challenge you to pay attention to the smallest of details and see God revealing Himself in some way to you in your unique life as you journey closer to Him in this temporary home.