An older friend of mine, who is a Greek Orthodox priest, sat at a lunch counter with me one day. To be honest, I felt spiritually dry at the time. My friend sensed my spiritual state, drew me out, and listened carefully to all that I said. When I finally ran out of things to say, he posed a seemingly unrelated question: “Why do you think God placed the first of us in a garden created by God?”
I fumbled for an answer. Fortunately, my friend quickly answered it himself. “God placed humanity in the middle of God’s creation, so that we might always have at least one place where we could look for and catch a glimpse of God.”
“That’s interesting,” I replied, “but neither of us live in a garden, let alone that garden.”
“I suppose that’s true,” said my friend. “Still, we live in the midst of a world created by God. The world itself is a sacrament.”
“What do you mean by sacrament?” I asked him.
“Just this. The world, and all that is within it, is a conduit for God’s presence, love, and grace. I’ve lived much longer than you, and I’ve learned that when I look for God in the things God created, God is right there looking back at me.”
My friend’s words lodged in my heart and woke something in me. I started looking for God in the creation, and I found God there. For me, the sea especially invoked a sense of God’s presence. Sunrise, summer rain, the evening stars, and the sight of wildlife soon did, too. God’s world—along with scriptures, worship, and service—fed my spirit.
When I look for God in the things God created, God is right there looking back at me. My friend got it right. I’m glad I listened.
Remember a time when you experienced God through Creation. Look for God today in something that God created.
Thank you, God, for the gift of this world in which we live. Teach me to see you in what you have made. Amen.