Saturday. Chicago. Walking tour of the city with my friends Jeanne and Tom. Cathedral on the right.
First cathedral I had ever seen.
Tom said, “Let’s go inside.” The temptation to see what it looked like far outweighed any thoughts of propriety or risk.
We silently opened the heavy oak door and slipped into the back row of the pews. The magnificence of the sanctuary astounded me.
The center aisle seemed to stretch to heaven itself. The colors of the stained glass windows rivaled any jewels I’d ever seen.
Then the organ began to play. And we had back row seats to a wedding happening at the altar in the distance.
Surely I would have found God there that day, in his beautiful house with that beautiful couple.
But I didn’t.
There are so many other places where I didn’t find God. The Grand Canyon. At 30,000 feet above the Atlantic Ocean. In the Jewish temple at Purim. After the car wreck. When music came from the largest pipe organ I’d ever seen. After the divorce. At the cemetery.
God just wasn’t there.
I began to question my faith. Doubt my understanding of the Bible. Wonder if there was something incurably wrong with me.
But when I looked outside myself, I found God.
He was there all the time. Of course. Just waiting to meet me.
I still find God there. In the eyes of those I love: family, friends, brothers and sisters in Christ. God adds to their number all the time and fills the empty spaces left by those who’ve gone away.
So when I need to find God, when I feel like he’s disappeared or abandoned me, all I have to do is look into a loved one’s eyes. He’s always there for me.
I know you probably find God in a different way, a different place. That’s okay. He’s everywhere, waiting to meet you. Sometimes we panic and just forget to look for him. Sometimes our spiritual vision is clouded with pain, anger, frustration, grief.
The most important thing, your top priority: Find God.
“The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety” (Psalm 18:2).
Laura Warfel is a widow, writer, and follower of Jesus Christ. Her greatest joy is to bring others along with her on her faith journey. In 2015, because of the encouragement of the Launch Out Conference and Jon Acuff, she launched More Than A Widow on Facebook and Twitter. Today she blogs, tweets, and posts to help widows (and those who know them) find encouragement, hope, and resources for the journey. Her goal is to help all widows live beyond the label and live as more than a widow.
Copyright © 2016 by Laura Warfel