Where is God? Where? Many times I asked this question. Perhaps you have asked the same question.
As of right now you may know (directly and indirectly) many people who are experiencing one or more of the following:
1) Death of a family member.
2) Unable to find a job.
3) A divorce.
4) Someone in the hospital.
5) A friend in crushing emotional pain.
7) Waiting on a phone call from a doctor that could be good news or not so good news.
8) A loved one in day-to-day physical pain.
9) A person trying to find the strength to ask for forgiveness of someone else.
10) A co-worker that just got his house foreclosed.
11) A teenage boy being bullied every day at school because he is gay.
12) A college student that was raped last night.
13) A family hoping that their father will make it back safely from his tour of duty.
14) So many more...
In everything (and so many other situations) that I have described we don't see God. We see: pain, loss, hate, suffering....so much suffering. So again we cry out: Where is God????
I have personally been a part of some of the situations I listed, and I can remember so many times asking "Why God?" "Are you not supposed to be a loving Father"? "Why do you allow this to happen?" "Where are you?"
And as I look back to the list I can think of the people that were there for me when I needed them. And as I was meditating on one of my favorite scripture moments from the Gospel according to Matthew, I realize that the answer to the question "Where is God?" is the following: he is in two places at the same time. And no, I am not speaking right now of a debate on how God can or cannot be outside space and time.
‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’
To me this passage is not only about the Son of Man telling us Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ It also tells me that he is in two places at the same time: in you and me, the one in need and the one that provides.
When "Robert" is in prision, and he is visited by "Jane", God is in both of them.
When "Jack" is in the hospital in terrible pain, and the nurse "Nancy" is holding his hand, God is in both of them.
When "Deborah" is in the ER after being raped in her own dorm room, and her father is holding her, God is in both of them.
When "Carlos" has to leave his apartment because he is about to be evicted, and he is staying with his friend "John", God is in both of them.
When "Laura" is desperate because her daughter is crying out of hunger, and she receives food at the food pantry from "Charles", God is in both of them.
Truly God is in all of us and he is in two places at the same time. He really is.
The image of the suffering Christ on the cross comes to mind. I believe the Son of Man cries with us, with every human being that cries in suffering like he did on the cross, and he is in every human being that gives his heart and love to you and me. And when that moment comes, we can laugh again and he will laugh and smile with us.
God is in every one of us that needs love and he is in everyone that gives love. I believe God invite us to give that love; the same love that comes from God and the same love that we give to others and sometimes the least of these is one of us, and sometimes the least of these is embraced by one of us. Once we realize this, then we understand that God is in two places at the same time, because he truly is in you and me.
Because truly, God is closer than we think...