Seeing Is Believing?

I have these memory flashbacks. They are as clear as if I were still there. A small group of 7th graders in a church study class. Maybe 5–6 of us. I remember the teacher. He was maybe high school or just out of high school. His mother was the teacher, and he was subbing.

He explained the lesson of the day. Seeing is believing. I am 12 years old. I still remember my first thought. “We’re talking about God. You can’t see God. This is a crazy lesson. It doesn’t make sense.”

Maybe I was already on the contemplative path. I don’t know. But I still think of that at times.

I quoted Augustine of Hippo earlier this month. He talked of not needing to read to learn about God, but only needing to go outside and witness the majesty of nature. I know that experience works for many people.

The words of the Apostle John have always resonated with me. God is spirit, worship him in spirit and truth. I do not have God in my head. I have experienced. And maybe this morning when I paused to watch the five Great Egrets and a Great Blue Heron on one of the ponds I pass while exercising, maybe there was a tiny experience of God.

I don’t know. Was believing in the seeing? Or, was it my experience of God what led me to see and appreciate the beauty of a moment in nature?

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