This mysterious saying speaks to the immediacy of Creator God’s presence, whether invoked in consciousness or ignored. In no way can we flee His pervading influence: it’s like being embraced by the beloved, yet unable to see his face, or catching the glint in a sunset or the flicker in a newborn’s smile.

Of interest to seekers, this saying has an interesting history. It is believed to have originated from the Oracle at Delphi, Greece, when the Spartans sought her counsel in their plan to attack the Athenians, around 431 BCE.

The “Bidden” saying is next found in the Adagia (1563), a collection of antique sayings compiled by the Renaissance scholar and humanist Erasmus. He rendered it in Latin: Vocatus atque non vocatum Deus aderit.

And it’s found in this form, carved over the stone doorway of Dr. C. J. Jung’s house in Kusnacht, Switzerland, in the 1950s, a reminder of the spiritual, present in every moment. Jung’s lifelong exploration of the psyche led him to this felt experience.

And closer to home, a dear friend gave me this plaque for my eightieth birthday; it sits next to my computer and reminds me of God’s presence, especially when listening for the next right word, when writing. 

It also helps to envelop this saying over our fractured world, especially those afflicted in Haiti and Afghanistan

Bidden or not Bidden God is Present.