The river was quiet and the night cool. From my vantage point standing in the back of the boat, I peered through the darkness trying to spot any trees or rocks poking above the surface — clues there was far more hazardous material lurking underneath needing to be avoided. During a night practice, it is not an easy task. Though the lights of the city illuminate the slough to some degree, it’s not enough to make the dangers obvious.
Within the beautiful scene of deer grazing in a sun-drenched meadow where the wildflowers sing in chorus, it’s hard not to notice God. But I wonder — what about in the unlovely? What about in the unpleasant places, the old and the abandoned? Is God in the dirt, in the garbage, in the scenes where hope seemingly has no place to go? I’ve seen so many beautiful places but have never stopped to look in the grime of the gutter. Can God be just as present and noticeable where we never stop to look?