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God shows himself

Author’s note: I recently rediscovered these reflections from my old seminary journals.

God keeps me ever mindful of him. When I rise in the morning, when I open a book, when I turn a corner, God is there—his face in mine. When I suppose I’m somewhere that he isn’t, and I look around to convince myself, I find him there. When I see the misery of another soul and think that God could not be present there, I am amazed by the fingerprints God has made in that wretched life, too. When I see the wise, I am awed by the magnitude of God’s wisdom; when I see the foolish, I am stricken by the enormity of God’s striving with man.

God uses reading to keep me mindful of him. I discover his essence in words written about him and to him; I even see his work in words that writers didn’t realize were about God. God shows himself to me in the face of a friend, whose face makes me joyful. God lets me touch him, feeling the handshake of a saint. God writes himself large in the sky, and also upon the dirt whereon I stand.

Sometimes I forget God. Sometimes I fail to see him, even when he stands just in front of me. Yet, he is always there, showing himself. He never hides, but always pushes himself toward me. Sometimes I run headlong into him and don’t recognize that it’s him I’ve hit. Later he will be obvious to me. It’s only because he’s always showing himself. He shows himself in song and dance, in word and silence, in laughter and tears, in embrace and fist, in waking and sleep, in quickening and death.

I must seek him more. I must find his reflection in the saint and his impression in the sinner. Despite my humanity, I will find him—because he shows himself.

About the Author

  • Daniel J. Sparks

    An Anglican minister, teacher, speaker, and writer, Daniel has served as a parish pastor, military chaplain, and hospital chaplain, and bishop. He is editor of Confessing Anglicans.

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