Hide and seek

I happened to find myself in church a couple of weeks ago and the speaker was talking about how she used to play hide and seek with her children. Rather than hiding completely she always made sure that she left a foot or piece of clothing visible or made a small sound so the children wouldn’t have too much difficulty finding her. Her point was that God does the same thing with us - he wants us to seek him out but won’t make it impossible for us to find him - he wants to share in our joy when we do.

Although I struggle with some aspects of Christian faith, I have a lot of sympathy with the idea that God provides ‘clues’ to help us recognise his presence. Although I find it difficult to express, for myself these seem to be manifested in moments of stillness when one lives entirely in the present moment or senses the barely tangible presence of the connectedness of the world. It also shows itself in the expression of love or when one hears about certain acts of human kindness. I’ll never forget the story of a mother and daughter liberated from a concentration camp and close to death from starvation. Their liberators gave them a bowl of soup and two spoons but they struggled to eat it as they only took tiny amounts in order to leave more of the soup for the other. They finally resolved their dilemma by filling their spoons fully but serving it to each other!

It is in all these things and much more that we are offered clues as to the true nature of being. I know we could argue that there are also ‘counter clues’ that suggest the opposite - cruelty and pain and all manner of suffering. This may be true and yet the original beauty and ‘rightness’ of a flower cannot be denied should someone trample it under foot.