Peek-a-boo is the favorite game of one of the clients at Logan Center. Her name is Donna and she has one of the biggest, brightest and best smiles I have ever seen. In the time that I have spent with Donna, nothing makes her face shine brighter, nothing provokes a bigger smile, than seeing a shrouded face emerge from a set of hands.
Donna loves peek-a-boo. Because she loves the game, because she loves seeing a shrouded and smiling face uncovered, Donna points and motions and gestures and grabs and does all that she can to entice you to engage her. She is quite successful too; she and I played peek-a-boo for two hours straight! One of the staff members—after having witnessed the longest game of peek-a-boo in the history of mankind—accused Donna of flirting. I left the Logan Center in awe of Donna's persistence and determination.
I think Donna and Donna's favorite game has something to tell us about our relationship with God. At times, it can seem as if God is playing peek-a-boo with us. It can seems as if God were the Divine Peek-a-Boo-er—giving us a brief glimpse of His face and then quickly recoiling into obscurity—only allowing us a short encounter before hastily withdrawing to sit on His heavenly throne. God can seem reclusive, distant, and inaccessible. It can seem—except for brief, powerful, and intimate encounters—that God is absent. This can make us feel as if God is playing peek-a-boo with us.
This feeling is not reality!
Last week's second reading, from 2 Timothy 2:13, tells us this much. "If we are unfaithful, he [God] remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself." By virtue of our baptism, our God resides in our very being. Our being is so caught up and connected with God's own that he cannot help but remain with us and in us. He has chosen to remain so close to us, that to be unfaithful to us is to deny Himself, to deny who He is.
Yet, if this is true, why does it often seem as if God is so elusive, so evasive? I would like to suggest that it is not God who is playing peek-a-boo with us, but we who are playing peek-a-boo with Him! The brief, powerful, and intimate encounters we have with God happen not when God chooses to uncover His face and reveal Himself to us, but rather when we uncover our faces and reveal ourselves to God. For God is constantly revealing Himself to us. If we could but remove the shroud from our faces, the shroud from our lives, we would see this clearly. When the sin, the selfishness, and the laziness is removed from our being—we see God. It is then that we gaze at His brilliant, shining, and smiling face.
I would like to suggest that we can see Donna as a type for God. God is always ready to see us uncover our faces and turn towards Him. He is constantly motioning, pointing, gesturing, perhaps even flirting; constantly vying for our attention. And His persistence is unmatched.
The Lord's desire for us and His faithfulness to us is beyond compare. He is present to us always, at all times, even when we are unfaithful. He is always waiting for us to turn towards Him. Waiting with a brilliant smile and arms opened and outstretched —all we have to do to see such glory, to see the beauty that is the faithfulness of God, is peek through our fingers.
Mr. Chris Brennan, C.S.C., is in his first year of Theology studies, having taken his first vows with five classmates on August 3, 2013. He is an alum of the Old College Undergraduate Seminary, and is originally from Granger, Indiana.