On occasions when we meet God face to face, how does He choose to represent Himself to us, and how can we be sure it's Him? After all, we're supposing that God is the totality of time, substance, and all reality in our universe. His omnipresent self makes up the water of the fishbowl, and the bowl as well, in which we swim. Per force, then, God must somehow materialize before us as Himself writ small, in the form of a metonym, meaning some tiny part that stands for the whole.
A gestalt psychologist might pose this as the figure-ground problem: how does the Lord distinguish Himself as a distinct source of action against everything swirling in the background that is also Him? Does the One speak out as a star? A burning bush? An angel? A cloudbank? A cloaked visitor? A person on a cross? In the disembodied baritone of Morgan Freeman, the purr of Joel Osteen, or perhaps that nagging little voice inside your head? Through mysterious, non-verbal signs that catch your eye?
Does He/She/They ever speak to us in modes that afford doubt, that leave us puzzling whether we're just fooling ourselves? During my years as an evangelical Christian beset by skepticism, I recall meditating one evening alone in a small chapel. I asked to be shown convincing proof of God's existence, whereupon I was electrified to witness a small, silent candle flame flickering upward from the altar and into the rafters. Upon inspection, this turned out to have been the fluttering wings of a moth reflected momentarily beneath a church spotlight. Yes?/No?
TITLE - "The Word"
WHERE - Howe Sound, British Columbia (2013)