Walking Our Faith: Proof of God
Walking Our Faith
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” — Jeremiah 29:13
I discovered proof of God on Wednesday afternoon in the tree branch shadows cast across the snow and frozen stream where I had stopped on the side of the road to let Kiki catch her breath and Bear investigate the smells of other animals. Kiki and Bear are my elderly adopted Newfoundland dogs. Our walks meander.
My Lenten journey is only a few weeks old, but already my days have been filled with prayers of all sorts, communal and private. Rosaries recited, scriptures pondered, psalms prayed aloud and centering prayer in silence. Prayers said in the dark as I drift off to sleep and said again at 6 a.m. as the light begins to create an outline of mountain peaks outside my window.
I have been reading saints and mystics, spiritual teachers and Jesuit astronomers, and I attended an evening class on the significance of the Eucharist in the centrality of the Mass.
I’ve been thinking how grateful I am for this Lenten journey, which focuses my attention on what I believe and why I believe and calls me to follow its path into the woods not certain of where it will lead but only of how much more I must learn.
But there it was on the snow-covered ground among the shadows cast by brambles and a frozen stream, which in this warm snap might struggle to wake from its winter slumber only to be buried by the return of winter.
In this confluence of seasons and nature and light and shadow, there was God. There was the most compelling proof for God’s existence. Not only for God’s existence, but for the very reason why we are compelled to pray.
What I saw in that little winter nook was beauty.
We can argue all day long about figurative and literal creation stories and theories of evolution and life on other planets and whether all this scientific knowledge confirms or just disproves the existence of God.
But I don’t need scientific proof or the measurement of the speed of sound and light when I have silence and light among the shadows of a winter afternoon.
To see it as more than frozen water and dormant trees is to recognize I have a conscious mind that perceives beauty. To have a momentary observance of nature lift my spirits is to understand we were formed by a creator who was not assembling automatons but souls with imaginations to appreciate the beauty of a world beyond its utility.
Our souls were given not only an appreciation of creation but an innate need to create. Our souls compel us to communicate with our creator, through art, music, science, technology and all the good things that flow from our creative minds.
In the Bible, it says we are to pray without ceasing. At first blush, this seems an unreasonable request for those of us who are busy with family and jobs and need more sleep, not something else to do.
But once we realize our quiet souls are constantly seeking communication with God, prayer becomes as natural as every breath we take.
As St. Augustine said, our souls are restless until they rest in you, dear God.
There will be philosophers who construct logic equations to express my thoughts with greater erudition, poets who form my words with greater eloquence, artists who paint the interplay of light and shadow with greater delicacy.
But sophistication is not required of my soul to recognize its creator. Because God created this surety within us that is understood by the simplest mind and the cleverest, those who lived in the deepest recesses of our history and those not yet born, who will look upon our achievements someday as child’s play.
We will never construct a modern Tower of Babel to prove God doesn’t exist. Wherever our minds take us, we will find God. But it is most fitting that proof of God is in the shadows and light he created. It was evident from the beginning of time and without our help at all. It has been here all along waiting quietly and beautifully to be noticed.
I’m reading through the Gospels this year. This week, I’m reading Matthew Chapters 11 and 12. Please join me!
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” — Matthew 11:28-30
Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson’s column “Walking our Faith” publishes Saturdays in the Summit Daily News. Anderson is the author of 10 novels and nonfiction books on faith. She has lived in Breckenridge since 2016. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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