It’s not as well known a hymn as “Amazing Grace.” I did not grow up singing it. But somewhere along the way someone suggested we sing “I Am His, And He Is Mine.” The words and music were both written in 1876. The second stanza caught my attention:
Heav’n above is softer blue, Earth around is sweeter green!
Something lives in every hue Christless eyes have never seen;
Birds with gladder songs o’erflow, flowers with deeper beauties shine,
Since I know, as now I know, I am His, and He is mine.
Since I know, as now I know, I am His, and He is mine.1
As I thought about what we were singing, it dawned on me that everything — everything — was evidence of God. Suddenly all the arguments for the “evidence of God” became little more than a matter of simple faith. One person believes it. One doesn’t. One person sees Him. One person doesn’t.
The more I thought about this principle the more evident it became. I began to see it everywhere. I thought of the irony in Mark 8:11, “The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him.” They seek a sign from heaven from the greatest sign sent from heaven. In another place “they said to him, ‘Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform?’” (John 6:30). To the one they are staring at they say they will believe if they could see.
And then there’s that unforgettable conversation between Jesus and Philip,
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.’ Philip said to him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”’?” (John 14:6-9).
In Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer, C. S. Lewis observes that God is visible everywhere, but is incognito. In other words, he’s right here but you can’t see him. He writes,
“We may ignore, but we can nowhere evade, the presence of God. The world is crowded with Him. He walks everywhere incognito. And the incognito is not always hard to penetrate. The real labor is to remember, to attend to. In fact, to come awake. Still more, to remain awake.”2
I guess there will always be people asking to see God. He sure is patient.
“Am I a God at hand, declares the LORD, and not a God far away? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the LORD.” – Jeremiah 23:23-24.
- C. S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer (Mariner Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 2012), 75. Italics in original.