It was a beautiful sunny morning. Until I looked at the river. It wasn’t there! Well, it was, but I could not see it despite the fact that it was only 100 feet from me. The fog was so dense that the river was gone from sight.
That lead me to think of the Lord. His presence is always there, whether we can see it or not. His graces are flowing, yet we have no senses to acknowledge it. We tend not walk towards that which we do not sense is there. Just like I would not walk down the bluff to the water if I did not already know it was there. It was a comforting thought for even a person whose faith is firm. At that moment I understood why it is so hard for non believers to understand when we describe God and our faith to them. Words do not do justice to faith.
After watching the breathtaking view of a lone tree silhouetted aginst the fog for quite a while, the dog, almost as big as I am, was more interested in inspecting other things. We walked on. I began reciting the Rosary as something to do as he dawdled around. The scenery was lovely with the fall colors ablaze all around me. The fog was limited to the river. The views distracted me from my prayers. I thought of the nonbelievers who can see so distinctly all that the earth has to offer, yet God is hidden from them.
Eventually, I realized that I was being distracted from prayer, per se, but not from God. Every new color was a wonder He has made. Evey new flower is a sort of “Hello” from Him. As I walked up and down the rills, it was equivalent to His shouting “Hello”s from every direction, just to remind me of His existence.
During that time I could not be angry, even when the dog ran to splash in the red muddy water of the rutted paths, or chase after another, equally leashed, dog. It was an enjoyable Rosary time.
Eventually, we stopped to talk to another camper. He told me that he could hear the fishermen with their wooden crates looking for oysters. They were quite close to shore in their little skiffs. But I could not see them! I listened intently. The background noise seemed to move out of the way and I could hear the shouts of the men in one boat calling to the men in the other boat. Not their words, just the sound of their shouts.
The next day, the dog wanted to go out on his morning walk. I grabbed his leash and my Rosary. This time the view of the whole quarter mile across the river was crystal clear. The water was like glass. I glanced along the banks looking for the oyster fishermen. There they were. Two one man boats, next to each other, helping each other out.
I thought about it. I had enough faith in what the other camper said the day before to take a look. Sometimes faith is clear and sometimes one can not see it at all. Unlike nonbelievers, I know God is there when I can’t sense Him. And sometimes I can sense Him just fine.
If only I could explain that to the nonbelievers I know.