The blithe, unfocused life I led concealed a tiny hole.
It barely marred the surface, but it reached into my soul.
Amid my occupations, I would feel a little draft
or faintly hear an echo ricochet behind my laugh;
but youth’s nearsightedness dulled my perception, dimmed my view
and kept me from distinguishing that what I lacked was You.
Until one night You spoke my name. Your silent call was clear.
It whispered to my soul but had no message for my ear.
You spoke though to another sense, for You engaged my eye
with color when a single stained glass window lit the night,
a spill of heaven’s radiance to punctuate Your word.
You told me You were waiting but that You’re a patient God.
And that was all. Night re-enveloped me. The moment passed.
The window once again became a bit of colored glass.
And yet the impact of that moment didn’t fade. Still sharp
remained the memory of glory patterning the dark.
The glimpse was evanescent, but the presence You’d revealed
exactly matched the contour of the hole that never healed.
I knew I had to find You then, was certain You were near;
Religion nodded in agreement but did not say where.
I sought advice from Science, confident it would resolve
this mystery, but Science didn’t want to get involved.
Philosophy could only throw out tantalizing hints,
and all of Nature’s majesty was but Your fingerprint.
I questioned You directly then, but silent You remained.
If You weren’t seeking a response, why had You called my name?
And I could not forget about You; longing only grew;
contentment was reduced to fidgeting for want of You.
The earth seemed flat and monochrome, more faded than before:
its spectrum didn’t satisfy once You had shown me Yours.
If you’d like to keep reading,
Or read a synopsis
“Finding God” is part narrative and part reflection, sometimes a one-sided conversation with God and sometimes a frank discussion with the reader. Written in five chapters, it begins as the author is speaking directly to God about her search for Him and about His response. The story of that search and of their subsequent relationship is woven throughout the poem.
The three middle chapters are long poems-within-a-poem that focus on humankind as a whole and explore different aspects of our separation from God.
Chapter two asks which is true: modern skepticism or man’s intangible need for God? It looks for the origin of our estrangement from God. Was Pandora responsible? Was Eve? But then it explores the psychology of sin to suggest that we today are just as responsible. Using fairy tale imagery, it ends by envisioning God’s attempt to rescue us from the materialism that holds us captive.
Chapter three examines the pitfalls of free will, both from God’s imagined point of view and from that of humankind. It playfully pictures us as children who are allowed to dawdle on our way home to a God who waits with open arms; then it seriously scrutinizes our motives for dawdling.
Chapter four returns to the problem of modern skepticism. It recounts the story of reason’s ascendency over faith since the time of Copernicus, as we gradually turned our backs on God and courted knowledge instead. But though knowledge has brought us countless benefits, she has proven to be a frigid spouse. The poem then counters the disillusionments of skepticism with another story, that of the author herself, who finds that consenting to God’s courtship can have astonishing results indeed.
The final chapter returns to the practical problem of finding God, first for humankind, and then for the author herself. It gathers threads from the previous four chapters and ties them into a satisfying conclusion.