Lacking the actual vision of God in our lives we yet have the gift of His presence within us and around us – love! We cannot say that we don’t see You when we do see daily others forgetting themselves for us; in this we see You. When another puts care or concern for us ahead of themselves; in this we see You. When someone gives us times, especially when they have no time to give; in this we see You. In other than these maybe we look in the wrong places to see You.
In one sense, we perceive You not as an image but as we perceive “music” played for us by others. It fills us with an imageless, wordless perception, and it is very real. Such is love, and, as St. John says, God is love. Love is not only the way we perceive God but the way we promulgate that perception to the world. The hallmark of the reign of God’s kingdom is love. The difficulty for both love and God is that we often have a hard time putting a face on them. We can perceive them easily all around us if we try, but the effort is often an “inconvenience.”
We are hampered by language. Language is the blood of all our thoughts, words, and perceptions. Yet, the face of God in our lives, the face of love, like music, transcends language. We experience it but we are ill-equipped to accurately describe it. This handicap may be discouraging, but it should not be. Dwelling on our frustration to adequately describe God to ourselves or others is stifling. It is far better to haul out long-sublimated instincts that, in the simplest and purest of ways accentuate our sense of God within us in manners that language cannot describe. These instincts are in every one of us though buried under varying amounts of rubble that we ourselves have strewn over them during the course of our lives.
We are so acclimated in our lives to the exterior visual imagery of photographs, TV, movies, paintings, diagrams and illustrations that we tend to predicate all knowledge on what we can see. Yet, with You, we must predicate our knowledge on what we can’t see. Here is where, with patience, we can practice a seeing not of the eyes but of the heart. Physical beings, objects, matter, etc., were all meant to be perceived by the eyes, but You are none of those. Hence, the eyes fail. I think we do our best to perceive You when we simply allow You to form perception in us the way You will: through others, through prayer, through silence and detachment. Thomas Merton says, Christ’s love in our own lives acts dynamically to reach others through us, thereby revealing Him to us in our own souls.”