The Hiddenness of God

I was in Haiti for Good Friday and Easter Sunday. During the week that followed I penned the following reflection, written in the slum of Gerardo-ville where I lived without running water or electricity…and with some mice friends.

To be in Haiti
is to be in
the belly of the beast
with Job.
Here the presence of God
takes on the form of absence.
It is the sign of Jonah
writ large.
In Haiti
human misery
is raw and real.

In Haiti
my false ideas and values
are shattered into
thousands of little pieces.
And I see clearly
the pain and suffering
of Christ,
the pain and suffering
of the human condition.

In Haiti I see things
in their utter nakedness.
The cross is around
every corner.
The cross has
no place to hide.
We either close
our eyes to the cross
or we confront
and embrace the cross.

In Haiti
there are no diversions,
no false idols
to avert my gaze
from the misery.
There was no place
to turn…
all you can see
is the hiddenness of God.

In this void
one slowly prepares
to humbly approach
the consciousness of God.

In the absence of God
the presence of God
awaits.
Detachment is the path
to wholeness.

In the slums of Haiti
I feel closer to God
than I do at
Sunday Mass in my
home parish.

Here I’m detached
from the world
yet not attached
to God…
and it is a place
of dreadful inner anguish
for me.

I can neither believe
or not believe
in anything.

Yet here in Haiti
I feel
God is hidden
in the insignificant
and the unassuming.
The poor feel their own fragility
and understand their dependency.

Somehow, here in Haiti
I feel the way to God
is through the
misery and nothingness
of my false self.

It is here that
I see more clearly
my true self
and my complete dependence
upon God.
It is here that
I feel more tangibly
God’s love.

Love is a mystical force
that pushes open
the door to
forgiveness and mercy.

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1 Response to “The Hiddenness of God”


  1. 1 John N. Heil May 4, 2011 at 9:32 am

    We should accept God’s forgiveness and mercy, but it is not the easiest thing to do. First we must admit our selfishness, failure, pettiness and unwillingness to really care about the deprived of this world. It is a trade off of sorts. An abundance of His forgiveness and mercy is available to us if we are humble enough to realize we need it. Then we will be able to forgive ourselves as well.


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