Laird: God's Presence/Absence

“Union with God is not something we acquire by a technique. Because God is the ground of our being, separation is impossible. God does not know how to be absent.” Martin Laird, Inward Outward daily quote, May 16, 2018.

Cannon Beach by Joanna Campbell

Cannon Beach by Joanna Campbell

We may feel that God is not beside us or that we have been abandoned by God, but Martin Laird reminds us that God is never absent. Never absent. Never absent. We need to remind ourselves about this every day, every moment. We are never alone. The vastness of God’s presence and God’s love is greater than we can know or feel or imagine.

My experience is that when I start asking for more love from friends and family than they can give, this is a stop sign that I have become disconnected from God’s presence. I am asking others to give more love than they can give because I do not feel God’s love’s. When I talk to people in spiritual direction who feel estranged from God, I remind them of my experience.

So, how do we change? How do we feel God’s presence and God’s love rather than God’s absence? My experience is that we have become disconnected especially with the Christ within us.  There are a multitude of ways to try to put ourselves in position to know and feel that love of God that is always there. That is the purpose of all of the spiritual exercises. Some make gratitude lists.  Some try to be more intentional about their prayer time, spending more time with God, listening instead of talking. Some spend more time in Nature where God’s presence and beauty is overwhelming.

Another place we are told God is always present is among the sick, the poor, the needy, the lonely. My experience is that visiting those in need is one of the surest way to connect with the Christ in another who then reflects to us the Christ in ourselves that has been there all along. Working at a food pantry, visiting the sick, sitting with someone who is lonely is where we find God.

The paradox is that getting out of ourselves leads us back to the God within.