Inadequate Words on the Absence of God

How often have I referenced God’s presence and absence? I’ve preached those words in tandem, enamored with how melodic they sound in a sentence. I’ve also cast them onto a computer’s screen, as if skipping two similar rocks across a digital pond.

Presence is a bright hope. Sensed. Glimpsed. Believed. Trusted. Calling. Comforting. Inspiring.

Absence is a dark place where the furniture has been rearranged. Or in a darker space where there is no furniture, no sense of size or shape, entry or exit.

I usually link the two two-syllable words because one makes the other safer. I try to please myself, you see. I try to please (or is it appease) anyone listening or reading, you see. When absence and presence are used, and especially when the climax of the sermon or essay is God’s presence, I conclude with an upbeat message and then vamoose for the nearest door.

My experiences with God’s presence have been fleeting but real. Those few—but precious—encounters authentically inform my words. And yet, my Holy moments or seconds are chump change compared to others. There are those who have had profound experiences with the Holy. They have humbly and regularly sensed God’s presence. What do I really know of Mystery? Continue reading →