Read this week's text - Isaiah 64:1-9
Have you ever played hide n seek with a young child? They simply can't stand to be hidden for long. Give it less than five minutes of us asking, "Where could she be?" and the child is waving her hand saying, "I'm here, I'm over here."
And then on the flipside, at about the same age, a child often believes if he can't see you then you can't see him. Years ago, during moving day, a box fell beside my three year old niece. We all rushed to see if she was alright. And there she stood in the middle of the living room with her eyes closed. She wouldn't respond to us saying it was alright. She wouldn't open her eyes to see what had happened. She was taking comfort in believing that as long as she couldn't see what happened, we couldn't either.
Seeing and being seen is not so straight forward.
The writer believes God has hidden in anger. In their sin, they had become like a filthy cloth. The best translation is a menstruation cloth. The writer is saying that their lives had become like the object that collects proof that there is no life. Ask any couple trying to conceive what the onset of menstruation means - there is no life.
So, has God hidden then or is it that they're lives no longer cultivate life. What does it mean when it feels as though our lives are no longer a proper environment for life to grow? What happens to our relationship with God when our lives become arid? At what point does it feel God has hidden as opposed to we have ceased to support life?
We begin our journey of Advent pointing the finger at ourselves not at God. And yet so often when we believe God is hidden we fault God. We focus on the hidden part of the equation and not our part. I wonder if we are not a little bit like a child with her eyes closed. Not willing to look at what's going on, perhaps frightened by loud sounds. If I can't see Gd, then God can't see me either. The writer, the prophet is asking us to open our eyes and look around. I can't help but wonder if when we open our eyes, we will find that God is not hidden at all. In fact, God is beside us saying, "I can see you." And perhaps that is why we keep our eyes closed.
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