God’s Sustaining Presence


Exodus 17:1-7
© Rev. Hilary F. Marckx, Ph.D.

I know there is no place to go
where I can hide from God’s Presence.
And, why would I want to, anyway?
Why would I doubt its goodness, either?

The wonder of Presence!
The power of Presence!
The strength of Presence!

I am carried by Presence,
loved by Presence,
sustained by Presence.

Holy One,
let me stand
in the bright light
of your Presence,
and let me
be forever
warmed and protected by it.

God Around Me

This is the way it is on any given day: I am not alone, I am not adrift, I am companioned and anchored by God–I don’t remember this.  How easy it is to forget what I can’t see!  I suppose that this is what faith is about: remembering that the unseen is more of a Presence than that which I can see.

We live in a world where each competing political/religious system, through self-serving chauvinistic tribalism declares itself  as “the real deal.”  The Big Game.  Each world considers itself just as more real than the others.  Christians think they are the Big Game.  Jews do.  Muslims do.  Buddhists do as well.  Americans think their Capitalism is the Big Game.  Of course Communists do as well.  I guess the truth of it is that there is no Big Game, just a bunch of little ones trying to elbow their way in the the front row.

At the Heart of All That Is

There is, however, something that underlies all the elbowing and squabbling.   Something at the heart of all that is.  We don’t need to call it God or anything at all.  It is simply present.  It is more than benign.  It is kind and loving and forgiving.  It is what some interpret as Presence.  It might be termed, divine, but it needs not to be called anything at all–it just is.

This entity was, in some way, at the beginning of all things, and will in some way, be at the end of all things.  It is certainly here in the middle of things.  Presence is present!

No Need To Believe/No Need Not To Believe

I do not need to believe in this presence.  I do not need to follow some human’s idea of what the meaning of this Presence is.  I do not even need to worry about not believing in it.  Atheists stand before this presence unknowingly.  Members of all faiths follow this Presence in the same unknowing way as do non-believers, and no one wins or loses, because we are all in the heart of this heart of all hearts.

I call this Presence, God, because that word represents my own tradition and my own linguistic comfort zone.  Others may term it something else, or nothing at all, and be just as accurate as I.  But know this:  the Presence to whom I refer, is my hope and my salvation, and I do not need to see it, smell it, touch it, hear it to make this claim, because this is simply and for me, a claim of faith.

And it would be only right and proper for someone else to make a counter claim.


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