By James Dillet Freeman
“I will give rise now, and go about the city; in the streets and in the broadways I will seek him whom my soul loveth.”
I have sought God in the streets of the world, in people, and in my own soul. Have I seen God?
I have seen snow falling, the spring green pushing upward, the summer flowers standing tall, the grain yellow lingering on in the autumn fields, the fruit burdening the orchards. I have felt the glory of the Sun. I have heard the feet of the rain running among the leaves. I have listened to the conversation of ancient trees. Night after night I have watched the steadfast stars and ever-changing Moon. The redbird has wakened me, and I have fallen asleep to the crickets' tune. The majesty of mountains, the wonder of the sea, the stretch of valleys, the flight of the sky—all these I have seen.
Are these God? No, but they are the garments of God.
I have felt the wonder of life; its patient experimenting; its outward, upward striving; its eternal unfoldment. I have heard the laughter of children. I have seen the look in a mother's eyes. I have watched lovers strolling hand in hand and heart in heart. I have known men brave enough to die for one another and selfless enough to live for one another. I have felt what a wonderful thing it is to be a human being.
Is this God? No, but it is the personality of God.
I have been alone under the sky when suddenly I was one with all the beauty and wonder and glory of the world. The sky was not high enough to hold my heart. I reached out through all the galaxies and nebulae, the infinite stretches of space, and I knew that they were in me and of me.
I have walked down a street crowded with strangers when suddenly they were not strangers and I felt myself expand and take them in. I felt their loneliest longings, their loftiest aspirations, their hopes and fears, their love and faith and joy. I was the self that transcends self, the larger Self that is not bound by space and time, the Self that knows it is one with the reality in all people.
I have gone into a quiet room, shut the doors of the senses, turned within, and found the peace that passes understanding, the stillness that is the very heart of stillness, the place where there is nothing at all; yet I am one with all that is.
Is this God? No, but it is the presence of God.
Where is God?
Search for God through the crowded city streets. Seek God in the peaceful countryside. Penetrate the nucleus of the atom. Follow the curve of emptiness. Go to the end of time. God will be there. Wherever you are, God is.
Know, you who seek God, that He seeks you more steadfastly. God seeks you. God loves you. God will not leave you alone. You could not walk alone, not for a moment, not in the darkest night. Though you stretched not out your hand, yet your hand would be in God's. Though you held not out your heart, yet God's heart would infold you.
… God is the infinite livingness of life that is in all and through all and under all, ever seeking to express itself.
Some seek to catch God in a net of words, but God is more than word. God is more than any thought that a man's mind can hold, yet God is the least thought that springs there. God is the first cry uttered by a newborn child, yet God is more than all the utterances of all the theologians.
God is more than all thought, all feeling, and all vision. God is the life that reveals that there is no death. God is the love that transforms hate into constructive energy. God is the intelligence that lifts ignorance into an understanding of Himself, of human beings, and of the universe.
O child of God, God is the truth of your own being!