Our certain awareness of God’s presence can be as transient an experience as fresh snow in February: something all-encompassing, brightly reflective, transformative and all too soon melted away into memory. Moments of such intense perception are precious gift; they are intimate encounters, involving knowing and being known deeply. They disclose with feeling that which is always true about our relationship with God. For the rest of the time much of this does not register in our busy preoccupied minds.
This is surely why the Bible encourages us to actively seek and call after God. There is an inherent unpredictability at play here. God is not ours to conjure up. The caveat ‘while’ in the text from Isaiah is refreshingly honest and frustratingly recognisable as a spiritual truism. Which is why reminders of presence are so vital.
The one pictured above is especially appropriate. To me the simple symbolism suggests God at the heart of creation, sustaining our world and the whole cosmos in love. Here carefully crafted wrought ironwork expresses the shape of theological understanding and religious belief. It is a vital visual clue and a necessary prompt; simple yet effective. It has the power to render expectation and sharpen awareness, that we too might be still and know the love in which we are always enfolded.