In my meditations this morning, I discovered this gem by Martin Buber, Israeli philosopher known for his form of existentialism centered on the distinction between the I–Thou relationship and the I–It relationship:
Rabbi Barukh’s grandson, Yehiel, was once playing hide-and-seek with another boy. He hid himself well and waited for his playmate to find him. When he had waited for a long time, he came out of his hiding place, but the other was nowhere to be seen. Now Yehiel realized that his friend had not looked for him from the very beginning. This made him cry, and crying he ran to his grandfather and complained of his faithless friend. The tears brimmed in Rabbi Barukh’s eyes and he said: “God says the same thing: ‘I hide, but no one wants to seek me.’”
As with most people, especially those in my ancient generation, I have had many times that life was completely overwhelming, both good and bad, both up and down. This can be very confusing and unsettling at times. This story by Buber brings me back to reality, the reality of my relationship to people and things that matter.
The counsel of Rabbi Barukh, “God says the same thing: ‘I hide, but no one wants to seek me,’” allows me to think that the more I recognize that I have a support system that cannot be replaced by anything that I face in my day-to-day life. God is with me; God is within me. I cannot run and hide from God, because She* is within my very essence of life. She is the very essence of my life.
I pray daily that She knows that She cannot hide from me. She has become a most vital part of my existence, supporting the physical, the psychological, the philosophical, and the emotional sides equally. How can I possibly forget Her constant presence in my life?
*To my many male friends, I deliberately use the feminine when referring to God. I firmly believe that God is neither male nor female, and at the same time, God is both male and female. Reflecting on the teachings of the ancient masters, both in the Old Testament and the golden age of Greek intelligence, I accept that the universal name for wisdom is Sophia, the feminine. And who am I to argue with my intellectual ancestors?
May all of us walk with God today.