Contemplative Life

SOUNDINGS – Seeing What Was Hidden

I’d been on that roof top many times in Kathmandu, and never seen it.  But when last there and our group was taking the Eucharist on that same roof top deck, one of our members suddenly exclaimed, “Look!  There’s a Himalaya!”  And indeed there it was, one mighty mountaintop, capped with snow, far in the distance and barely showing itself past some nearby foothills. 

It was a holiday in Nepal and far less traffic was on the roads, so maybe it was less smog that enabled the mountain to be seen,  Or perhaps it was simply that there was less fog and cloud in the air at that moment.  Whatever the reasons, for all the times I’d been on that roof, I’d never seen that mountain. 

Just because I couldn’t see it didn’t mean it wasn’t there.

While trekking in the Annapurna range, we had similar experiences, regularly actually.  Throughout the day and all the way to sunset, we often didn’t see mountains.  But upon waking up the next morning, when the cool of the night caused the clouds to drop much lower, we awoke to the shock of the massive peaks staring at us in the face in the clarity of dawn.  They’d been there the whole time, we just couldn’t see them.

Just because I couldn’t see the mountains didn’t mean they weren’t there.

It is a simple truth with great import when we apply it to God.  There are times in our lives when God seems absent, hard to see, impossible to hear.  We wonder if God is there at all. But God is there, even if seemingly hidden by fog or mist.  And, eventually, the fog and mist clears, and we can see God again, and realize that he was always there.

Just because there are times when we can’t see God, doesn’t mean he isn’t there.   

God is always there, and our calling is to remain faithful even when we can’t see him, until he shows his beautiful face again.  And God does!  The fog always lifts, the mist always clears.

Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!  If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,”
Even the darkness is not dark to you;
The night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.          Psalm 139.7-12


“SOUNDINGS” posts are aimed at considering topics that are important for our society, for the Church, and for our own spiritual journeys. To ‘take a sounding’ is a nautical term about using depth to determine where you are and where you’re going.  These writings are designed to do just that. Follow along when we post on Fridays by subscribing here and selecting “Soundings.” Please share this post with others!

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