What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all men life and breath and everything. And he made from one every nation of men to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their habitation, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel after him and find him. Yet he is not far from each one of us… (Acts 17: 23-27)
I’ve been away for a while, and I’m feeling a bit rusty, but I have a small thought to share. Just some impressions really–not even a thought.
I read the lectionary passages early this morning as I was sitting looking out at my grey, pre-sun backyard, waiting for the birds and chipmunks to stir and come looking for food at the feeder outside my window. And as I looked, I thought about the God who made the world and all the nations “in the hope that they might feel after him and find him.”
What does it mean to “feel after God?” Do we reach out with mind and spirit–as if shuffling in a mist with hands outstretched–stepping into the cloud of unknowing, trusting we will touch or be touched by the Divine? Is he waiting somewhere, or does he move in the mist to lead us on a chase? And I wonder, when we find him, will we trust what we feel? Will we recognize him by what we feel?
I am not a trusting soul. I am wary. And this shuffling in the mist could all be very frustrating were it not for the words, “in the hope that they might feel after him and find him.”
I think of God hoping to be found. (“Come on, reach for me.”) The Lord of heaven and earth, and yet not far from each one of us….