Time For God: June 6

Written by Paul Beckingham

Focus: Genesis 3:9: Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”
Out on the hike through the forest trails an anxious voice nearby called repeatedly, “Rex! Rex! Here boy!!” The calls became louder and more intense. Concerned for its safety, the dog’s owner searched for his beloved dog. Wolves, cougars, and bears added a hungry, unpredictable threat to an uneven, dangerous landscape. The owner listened for his dog’s answering bark.

In the mall a mother’s frantic eyes darted back and forth. She called her daughter’s name. Other parents—strangers—joined the search noting the child’s name and description. A shop worker emerged from a store. “We have a lost child at the toy counter.” Loud was the shared sigh of relief. Both in tears, a mother, and her lost child were safely reunited.

When I was nine, my mother walked out to buy a pack of cigarettes one day. When I was 21 years old we reconnected. After mother abandoned us, my brother and I would play in our local children’s playground. Some days, I looked up and thought I could see her standing there just beyond the railings. I turned to my brother to tell him. Looking back again she was gone. Maybe my imagination had run riot on me. Grief and loss will sometimes play strange tricks.

In the year before she died, I met my mother again. We spoke of many things. One time, she looked up and said, “I missed my two boys. I loved you very much. Some days, I would even stand at the park railings watching you from a distance. I longed for the time when we would be reunited.” A mother seeks the object of her love; she desires to draw it close to her once more.  

God calls for His lost children. He seeks them, knowing where to find them. He sees why they hide from Him. He does not focus on their shame. He does not raise an accusation. No blame; He simply calls. He longs to hear their voice, to reunite them to Him. God’s call is a summons to prayer. He invites, provokes, and encourages your response. He desires to hear your voice.

Thomas Merton writes: We do not pray for the sake of praying, but for the sake of being heard. We do not pray in order to listen to ourselves praying but in order that God may hear us and answer us. Also, we do not pray in order to receive just any answer: it must be God’s answer.

We pray, speaking to Almighty God, because He first speaks to us. He calls; we answer. The call-and-response pattern of prayer begins and ends in the Love of God. His arms stretch out to us.
Are you on speaking terms with God? Do you hear His call? How does your heart speak to His?

The keeping of God upon Thee in every pass,/The shielding of Christ upon Thee in every path,/ The bathing of Spirit upon Thee in every stream,/In every land and sea thou goest. Amen.
Carmena Gadelica III, 246-7
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