How long has it been since you looked up at clouds and saw pictures in them? Did you ever ask the friend who was staring at the sky with you something like, “Do you see that bird driving a car?” When we pay attention to the world around us, we see more than we could first imagine.
Psalmists look closely at creation and see God’s handiwork in it. The poet of Psalm 104 points out God’s chariot in the clouds and envisions how the world around us reveals the nature of its Creator. This detailed description of God’s landscape comes with the assurance that the world has a divine purpose and presence. God’s care includes realms of light, the earth’s foundations, and majestic mountains. God also nurtures habitats for birds and animals and enables the earth to produce food and wine to gladden the human heart, oil to make the face shine, and bread to strengthen the human heart (v. 15). We worship the One in whom all creation lives, moves, and has its being.
The Gospel of John proclaims that paying attention to the life around us will lead us to God’s presence. The psalmist understands and proclaims this as well. God’s presence is revealed day by day, in pleasures large and small, in the joy of a good meal, laughter, conversation, romance. Every once in a while, at a wedding, a kitchen table, or a doorway as someone passes through, we catch a glimpse of the presence at the heart of it all. Whenever we wonder, “Is God really here or did I just imagine it?” we need to remember what the psalmist knows. Our imagination is another gift God gives us to see the deep reality we ordinarily overlook.
Spend time today experiencing the Creation around you. What does it reveal to you about God’s presence?
God, make me aware that you are near in ways I have not imagined. Amen.