“God reveals himself in all things through faith” according to Jean-Pierre de Caussade, author of The Sacrament of the Present Moment. Where do I find God in the blistering heat and choking dust of Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti—a place so remote and obscure most Americans have never heard of it? A few days ago as I was hurrying through a maze of metal containers which serve as offices, I saw something at my feet that made me stop in my tracks, literally. A pair of finches were hopping about carefree in the dirt, cocking their heads curiously this way and that. Their soft feathers, which seemed all one piece, were mostly graphite in color but with green highlights. Other colors glittered beneath the dusty grey like diamonds in the rough. I imagined them dipped in soot and if one could wash them off, they would sparkle bright rainbow colors. It was a sacred moment, stopping to look at those two little birds.
Jesus often used ordinary things to teach extraordinary truths: a sower in a field, a shepherd and his sheep, a woman searching for a lost coin, a mustard seed, and, yes, even birds. He infused everyday food and drink – bread and wine – with deep, theological significance: “This is my body . . .” “This is my blood . . .” The Incarnation itself is the greatest example of God using the ordinary (humanity) both to hide and reveal the extraordinary (divinity). De Caussade said, “God hides himself in order to raise our souls up to that perfect faith which will discover him under every kind of disguise.”
Where have you seen God lately?