Hiding in Open Sight

July 21, 2012

Excerpt from 1 Chronicles 15:1-2, 16:4-13

"David prepared a place for God's chest and pitched a tent for it." (Common English Bible)

Reflection by William C. Green

Have you ever lost something and found it right where it was supposed to be - in some obvious place?

In "The Purloined Letter," Edgar Allan Poe tells the story of an important letter that was stolen. The thief knew the police would assume that he had concealed the letter in an elaborate hiding place. So he hid it in plain sight. Eventually it was discovered by an amateur detective on the mantel in the living room.

How much hides in open sight! Like an awareness of God? I often want a stronger sense of God's presence as though it's elaborately hidden, perhaps available to people more mystical than I am.

Meanwhile, I sit in church, used to seeing what's up front, failing to take in much detail - except  perhaps to notice the new altar cloth or the floral arrangement. But there are two things staring me in the face, clear as the wooden chest of God's commandments that David placed before the people, even pitching a tent over it: an open Bible, and the Cross.

Poe's detective searched all over to find what was in plain sight. I do, too. Heaven knows God can be found in more than one place. But as George Orwell put it, "To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle." I want to think more carefully about what's in front of my nose, in plain sight, every Sunday.

Prayer

May I quit looking everywhere else to find you, God, when so often you are right before me. Amen.

About the Author
William C. Green is Vice-President for Strategy and Development, Moral Courage Project, NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, and the author of 52 Ways to Ignite Your Congregation: Generous Giving.

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