On this Good Friday, faithful Christians are participating in the Triduum and the remembrance of Christ’s passion. Many others, though, despite their religious upbringing or affiliation, are not. Their reasons are many and most have been offered for millennia.
One of the most common questions posed by nonbelievers, as well as those of us who periodically wrestle with our faith is, “Where is God? I can’t see Him, so he must not exist.”
Fair enough. Especially saturated as we are in a culture of materialism and scientism, we are shaped to think anything unproven to the eye is silly at best and downright dangerous at worst. And just to reaffirm that we’re not alone in our uncertainty, it’s helpful to remember that even one of Jesus’s disciples doubted His resurrection until it was proved to him.
Considered from just about every angle, however, this position of refusing to believe unless we see evidence is insufficient. There are lots of things we cannot see but we know exist. Love is one good example. What about faith or goodness? We know they exist even if we can’t see or touch them. How do we know? We witness their imprint and manifestation in beings and actions around us. We actually “see” the effects of these virtues at work in the world.
Seeing the Divine in nature is just the same. Aquinas teaches us it is through reason that we come to have faith—to believe in and see God. For Aquinas, the truth of God’s existence is literally visible everywhere, and he begins with nature—with the world around us. It is here that we repeatedly witness God’s hand and reflection. Nature and everything in it participates in God’s vision. As Richard Rohr explains, we live in a “Christ-soaked universe.”
On this Good Friday, as we wrestle yet again with how suffering leads to redemption; how death leads to rebirth; and how, even during our Dark Nights we may yearn and reach for the light, let us choose to seek God everywhere.
Ultimately, the question, isn’t simply, Where is God? The question is, Are we looking for and truly seeing Him in all things?