Making God Visible

“What draws people to be friends is that they see the same truth. They share it.”
C.S. Lewis

The Old Catholic church looked deserted and weary on the outside but it still held an imposing presence between two streets in the town centre. This spiritual abode had clearly seen many seasons of human stories. I sensed that at one point in time it was a hive of celebrations, reformations and much cheerful laughter. Today however, it stood alone with locked gates and iron bars to prevent people from helping themselves to the little donations left by broken hearts and peace seekers. I am told that people of all religions have over decades made their way to this little sanctuary to light a candle in times of need, suffering and personal desperation. Today, I was there to do the same with two Hindu friends.

Our little party of three found the residing priest and requested that the church be opened so that we could all light candles to console our friend whose mum was seriously ill in advanced stages of cardiac failure. The inside of the cathedral was quiet, peaceful and inviting. There was a sense that many people had taken the short pilgrimage to the back of this spiritual house where there was a comforting statue of Mother Mary with a host of candles at her feet. Our little party chose to light the existing candles and then sit on the 100 year old wooden bench. The candles filled the place with hope and renewed faith in a supreme God.

Our time together was spent declaring support to our emotionally exhausted friend. I felt compelled to communicate that there was a peace that passed all human understanding and indirectly declared that she should allow this peace to surround her in the days ahead. I then prayed a silent blessing over her life and that this peace would be her strength in the days ahead and that it would lift her up from underneath. In my spirit I knew that an important statement was being made to the heavens and that it would be visible on earth.

I watched my dear friend grieve and yet find her center in the days that followed. She was in deep pain but it seemed to be carried a little better. Her mum passed away and as I entered the funeral home to show my love, there was clearly a peace that passed all human understanding. No doubt there was still the pain of human loss but there was a sense that a life well lived had been returned to God.

I shared her tears and loss and we both knew that God was there and that He is always there in the presence of His people. He is always found in the midst of personal emotional pain and suffering. He always raises and sends people to mend our broken spirits, others to minister to our physical needs and still others to remind us that we can deal with this ‘dark day of the soul’. God is made visible through his people.

Reflection

  1. Are you feeling alone in your grief?
  2. Has this pain caused you to feel that God is far from you?
  3. Look around you see the people he has sent you.

Written by Dr Rani Samuel
Clinical Psychologist