The stories in the Bible about being in the presence of God are conflicting and conflicted. Can you see the face of God and live? How can you live if you have not seen the face of God? I am steeped in the Judeo-Christian version of reality, that assumes that power, might and glory, like God’s, look big, imposing, scary enough to maybe make you die of fear. Every now and then, that image gets turned upside down.
Last night, my sweet girl dog Tux jumped up on our bed after we’d tucked in for the night and came and snuggled against me. I had literally just put a new coverlet on our bed in the afternoon, tickled that I’d finally found something I really liked for the summer. when even nights are hot and sticky in Alabama. All of a sudden, Tux jumped up, got as far as the bottom edge of the bed, and proceeded to throw up this ghastly, stinky gob of stuff. I practically flew out of bed with nothing to do but wipe the stuff off the coverlet ( trying hard not to retch myself), gather it up, and head to the washing machine. I set it to wash for a long time…
This morning, when the sun was already high, I took the coverlet out of the washing machine and went out to hang it on the clothesline. It was a bit big and cumbersome. As I was stretching it out on the line, out of the corner of my eye I saw a shadow move by and heard fluttering. I glanced down and literally, at my feet, looking up at me with the shiniest obsidian little eyes imaginable, was a robin. He looked at me for several seconds and I looked back, astounded by the beauty of his plumage, but even more, by his fearless examination of me. And then, the moment was over and he was off, probably to find some more food for his brood that’s still holed up in the bluebird house at the end of our wildflower bed.
I wonder if these aren’t the moments when we actually do get to see the face of God.