Look closely at this photograph. What do you see?
I see that it was windy - very windy - and that wind whirled a tuft of beach grass round and round. And I see that a raccoon came by some time afterward.
I could have easily missed this sight, but it happened that I was alert and attentive as I walked along the boardwalk to a beach I'd never been to before. I knew I was somewhere new and different and I was tuned in, ready to see everything I could see.
If we are to see God's hand at work in our world, if we are to sense God's presence, we must be attentive. We must be tuned in to the God channel, ready to see and hear and otherwise become aware of it. Otherwise, we go blindly by, not seeing and not noticing.
And, frankly, it's a lot easier to do such a thing when you are alone on a deliberate walk, as I was the day I saw this little story played out in the sand. There are usually too many distractions and distortions swirling around us, vying for our attention, tempting us to veer off and follow something else for a while. Some of these distractions are part of the landscape of our busy lives. There's always a lot going on.
And some of them are internal distractions. Worries. Anxiety. Speculation. Nursing wounds. Nursing grudges. Things that make me withdraw into myself instead of opening myself to God without fear.
What joys - often simple joys - there are to be seen, noticed, discovered if we can tune in to the God channel, remembering that we do not have to protect ourselves against God, whatever else is going on in our lives.