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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.

From a heavy sleep, I awoke at 7:30 A.M., with these stunning dreams:

It is Sunday afternoon, visiting time in the hospital. Many relatives fill Mother’s room where she lies in bed, awake and animated. I notice a smiling tiger looking at me from under her bed, its furry tail wagging, occasionally thumping on the floor.

I’m awake in my hospital bed as a clerk hands me a box wrapped in lavender tulle and silky ribbons. Inside is a deep-throated white orchid. There is no card.

These dreams contain sparks of hope from my Dreamer, a restoration sorely needed from yesterday’s severe grief.

Sunday afternoon refers to a period of receptivity, comparable with Creation’s Seventh Day, with opportunities for new learning. The image of hospital suggests a milieu of care and treatment for the new learning to occur. Mother, my extraverted shadow, although ill, welcomes her relatives seated and standing around her bed. No one seems to notice the smiling tiger, a spirit animal with multiple associations. This one is tame and serves as guardian into the unknown. I claim it as I continue moving through the symptoms of my terminal illness.

In the second dream God, disguised as a clerk, presents me with a gift/grace; its wrappings of regal lavenders speak of royalty, as in the Kingdom Jesus preached in the gospels. But the gift of the deep-throated orchid, a rich feminine symbol, heals some scars of the wounded feminine in my psyche, more of the beautification process before my transition—but more still to be done.

Once again, the dreams evidence God doing for me what I cannot do for myself. I’m humbled.

As I recall the Genesis story of Cain and Abel (4: 1–16), I’m not as shocked by our distraught world, shimmering with incurable disease, violence, and corruption. From its very beginnings, evil has seeded our world with the Seven Deadly Sins: anger, pride, lust, greed, sloth, gluttony, and envy. I know, because I have all of them, as does everyone else.

When failed instincts succumb to temptation to have more, to be more, or to leave a trail of monuments in their honor, violence inevitably ensues, whether around the kitchen table or the conference table.

Examples of evil in my lifetime are rife: World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and Afghanistan. The Killing Fields in Cambodia, Stalin’s Gulag Archipelago, Castro’s Cuba, and the corruption of Central American governments—all buzzed on the AP, but only handing out piecemeal information. The 1960s assassinations of President Kennedy, his brother Robert, and Dr. Martin Luther King revealed the agendas of the underworld.

Lynchings and other nasty racist practices also killed bodies and spirits. Our legislators declared war on unborn babies. Clergy sexually abused altar boys, leaving irreparable psycho-social harm. The proliferation of drugs contributing to the watered-down ethos in global societies still smells to high heaven. And the hype of the sports and entertainment worlds distract from significant life values.

But as with the plight of Cain after he murdered his brother, we are not left without resources to thrive in the midst of this madness. Those practicing faith in God are marked and will find their way, even to their deaths.

The Twelve Steps help scrutinize my behavior.

Available on Amazon

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