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Plink—Plink—Plinkk—Plankkk … It was happening again—the raindrops—upon the chimney cover plate above me: soft, feathery at first, then pounding like hooves of galloping horses in the wilds. I hurried to the window and looked out. Not only would thirsty trees and shrubs benefit, but my psyche, always in need of deep watering, would thrive. Enthusiasm mounted. But that was weeks ago. In recent years prolonged dry spells have warded off such drenchings in our area.

This morning, though, an unexpected excitement seized me while listening to the radio: Cuban Landscape with Rain that was written by the Afro-Cuban composer and conductor Leo Brouwer. Despite the waning sun’s hastening dryness, for seven minutes it was raining in my study, thanks to the giftedness of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet. I was saturated with Beauty. It felt good …

YouTube has many presentations of Cuban Landscape with Rain for your inspiration.

“Here! Take the end of your stick and I’ll guide you to the treadmill,” said a petite woman, her thick white hair bobbed below her ear lobes, her soft grey eyes and mouth suggesting they’d been partners for a long time.

Ahead of me, leaning against the wall of the corridor at the YMCA was another senior, also with curly hair and a neat mustache. His unbuttoned long sleeve shirt appeared threadbare with washings, his Stars n’ Stripes suspenders hitched to faded jeans, with no hips to hold them up.

He knew what to do. With both hands he gripped the end of his white cane and followed, one slow step followed by another, until they stopped behind the treadmill. After she helped him climb on and set the controls, she turned on the one next to his, and together they walked.

This elder man was no stranger, although drastically altered in appearance. On my way to meetings, most Sunday mornings, I used to watch him climb the hills in my neighborhood, his blind stick instructing each step he took. I often wondered who took care of him, his grooming and attire always in good taste. Never was he without his high visibility vest with safety stripes that complimented his khaki pants. He seemed aware of seasonal changes and the beauty around him. Although he was alone, he was always companied, his joy overflowing.

Then, I often bemoaned my sightedness that missed out on life’s fullness. It still occurs.

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.

Available on Amazon

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