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Dave Brisbin

Finding Father’s Face

Years ago, I remember thinking that if I could just have one burning bush moment, that would be enough.

Talking with God like a friend, face to face as Moses did, would answer everything. Yet that wasn’t enough for Moses. He begs to see God’s glory, just as Jacob asks for God’s name and Philip asks Jesus to show him the Father. But such requests are always denied in scripture and in life.

Is God just being coy?

Whether looking into the smallest or largest of things, the closer we look at our universe, the more it seems to be revealing the nature of its creator. We all learned about electrons orbiting the nuclei of atoms like planets around the sun. But electrons actually resemble a cloud, a cloud of probability. An electron doesn’t orbit a nucleus at all…it surrounds it like a fog with only a probability of being here more than there. It has energy and momentum, but doesn’t move. The cloud is completely still. We know exactly where the cloud is, but the electron has no specific location.

Stephen Hawking said the universe is finite but has no edge. If you flew in one direction long enough, you would never get to where the stars thin to black, but would end up back where you started like an ant walking inside a ping pong ball. Space curved in on itself, every spot in the universe looking exactly the same—same distribution and density of stars—and you would always be exactly in the center, because no other position exists.

In the fear of our uncertainty, we want to see God’s face, pinpoint a location. Make it intellectually certain. But as the ancient Hebrews imagined, God’s presence is a cloud. A cloud of probability with no edge. We know exactly where the cloud is: always right here and now, yet God’s face has no specific location. Everywhere and everywhen we go, God is always experienced herenow, and we are always exactly in the center of God’s cloud of presence. No other position exists.

We know where and when to look—closer than our next heartbeat or breath. But the looking is not with sighted eyes and the finding not with geo coordinates.

God’s face is the incomprehensible embrace of trust in love.


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