Hidden Glimpses

Oftentimes, I find inspiration in very strange places — at least, I assume they are strange places. I don’t often hear of such ruminations on similar trivialities. Still, I suppose it is a blessing to have such oddball musings from time to time.

All the snow of the past week certainly made way for a strenuous weekend. However, all the great experiences of faith in my life went hand-in-hand with a sense of being physically spent. Having just exhausted myself at the end of a long day, I guess I was primed for a tiny revelation.

I found it a strange comfort that, as I shoveled my driveway at 11:30 last Saturday night, (because the Mass must go on in the morning, and I have a responsibility to be there), that I could find the concrete under all that snow. It made me think, “there’s God.”

Of course that isn’t to say that my driveway is divine, but that, under the layers and mounds of my circumstances and problems, a strong foundation remains.

We could see things in numerous ways in this situation, but I think way too many of us see God in the shovel, which absolves us from trusting or believing in Him when the snow is gone. Before I go on, I’ll confess that this metaphor is highly limited, so I will try to confine my thoughts, and refrain from attempting to extend this image beyond its utility.

It is tempting, I admit, to see God as the one who fixes our earthly predicaments, but such a point of view merely limits God’s role, and confines God to that of, at best, a helper — far short of what we really need. Our brokenness, our inability is more radical than handling the trials and tribulations of this life. In fact, we are capable of handling those obstacles. It is the two inches of ice that encrust and insulate our souls that are the greater issue.

When we find trouble in this life, mere deliverance is simply too small a task for God, especially when our existence is at stake. God would not have sent the Eternal Word for our earthly comfort. We wouldn’t need a savior if that were so. Rather, it’s our stubbornness towards the love of God that renders us immobile, that traps us in the driveway.

Many of us can honestly contend that we’ve never, or only long ago, felt the love of God. Perhaps, though, it’s less that God isn’t so forthcoming with His love, and more that we look for it in the wrong places. Make it your project this Lent to seek God in new places, apart from where we look most often. And be honest with God about it in prayer. Tell Him you are looking for Him, open to catching a glimpse of Him in the small, the unexpected, the trivial or even that which we take for granted, overlook and dismiss.

Even though there’s a foot of snow, the wind is blowing, and there’s a layer of ice that you can’t pry off, the driveway is there for you, to support you, to be your way through. God doesn’t vanish because there are unnumbered obstacles, but as a rule, He doesn’t clear away the obstacles.

David Dunst
Music Director

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