By Elisa Morgan
There are times when I feel far away from God. A chasm of distance yawns between me and my Maker. I've heard the saying, "If you feel far away from God, guess who moved?" I know, likely it's me, not him.
But in such moments
when his face seems turned away and only his back is visible,
when not even his back is in focus but rather just fading footprints that indicate he was here but now has vanished,
when his voice is but a distant echo,
when not even a whisper lingers,
I struggle to move.
I stand, paralyzed, all too aware of my aloneness on this planet. He seems so very "other," which of course, he is. But he has also been so very "with" me in so much of my life. His mission of redemption completed and yet, still working out in my every day and my year to year to year. Why the silence now? Why the distance spanning between us?
I think back ... when did I last hear his voice, see his face, sense his presence? Dullness answers.
I open my journal and trace my finger down the pages
searching for a sign of an answered prayer,
a fresh insight from the Word,
an unexpected interaction in my daily life that could only be his doing,
a wondrous occurrence of being included in his work -
I find one after another. But these rememberings are old - some weeks, others months, still others years in the distant past. Ink dried on the page points to his faithfulness but as I pick them up in my mind, one after another, they break brittle and crumble away.
I take my weary wandering out to the familiar path behind my house where so often I have come upon him ...
in a stand of golden cottonwood stretching their baring boughs toward the deep blue roof of the sky,
at the panorama of powder-sugared peaks far in the distance etching a boundary between this world and the next,
through a deer threesome paused on the very path before me, Dad with his crown of horns, Mom sniffing my scent and spotted-wee-one nosing in the dirt for dessert.
If it's me that's moved, might I draw closer - to find him here anew?
I turn to look for him again. Over my shoulder this time. Peering far down the path, I see him, finally, in the distance. Did I move? Did he? Was he here all along? Was I?
In this moment, I realize that to recognize - and step into - the space between us is to bridge it. Immediately, I am again in his arms, my face tucked into his neck. One.
Elisa Morgan speaks and writes to equip and encourage others. She is the cohost of Discover the Word. Her books include Hello, Beauty Full, The Beauty of Broken and She Did What She Could. Connect with Elisa @elisa_morgan on Twitter, @elisamorganauthor on Facebook and elisamorganauthor on Instagram.