God Is Present

Fresh air flowed over me as I opened my front door and early sunlight danced across the yard. A fresh cup of coffee and a cool spring breeze on a quiet morning. Perfect!

The break of dawn is the only time it’s quiet enough to write these days. The renters next door have three small children and play loud music outside partying with friends on the weekends. My husband and I had had enough when their children started banging their toys into our shared fence and screaming at the top of their lungs. Something needed to be done!

Pondering our frustration, I asked God. “How do I handle this?” Flowers bloomed beneath our crepe myrtle with new buds ready to burst open. Then I noticed the snail.

The struggle was real for the tiny snail scaling the wall. Up, up, up…he inched his way to the top. It isn’t actually a wall. It is a sign placed in the flowerbed near our door. Although it isn’t large, I’m certain it felt like a mighty barrier to that obstinate snail. How foolish! The snail could have gone around the sign rather than struggle over it. I suspect God smirked at that moment. The sign read, “Bidden or not bidden, God is present.” The answer to my prayer; God is present even in frustrating circumstances. Advice from former colleagues came to mind. “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. Look past their behavior and see their pain.”

The young mom of three is home alone with her children all day while her husband, an electrician, works long hours. She needs a break and leaves the children outside. I remember when I was a young mother long ago. Her struggle is real too. “Ok Lord, I’ll invite her children over to play in our backyard. Maybe she needs another adult to talk to, or maybe she needs to know You are present in her life. If You make a way, I’ll invite her over for a visit.”

Later in the day, I went outside to retrieve our trash bins. At that same moment, she came outside too. Arms crossed and scowling when I spoke, she softened when I invited her and the children over to play. We agreed to get together on Wednesday.

Our spiritual formation group practices the six traditions of the Christian life, and we each select one tradition to focus on between our meetings. This past week, I chose the incarnational tradition. The exercise reads: “Take God with you wherever you go. During the next few days, make an effort to be a tabernacle where God dwells. Cooperate with God to bring good wherever you walk by praying for those you meet.”

Bidden, or not bidden God is present. If God can use a tiny snail as His tabernacle, surely He can use me, too.

4 responses to “God Is Present”

  1. I apologize for the typos! My broken finger gets in the way and once I click enter, there doesn’t appear to be a way to go back and fix it!


    • Oh my! A broken finger? I’m so sorry to hear this, Therese. Healing hugs sent your way and no worries at all about the typos. I appreciate your feedback in any form. 😉


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