Out of Sight…
Livy Has come to the age where kids display this strange phenomenon. Child psychologists call it the separation anxiety. I beg to differ. This separation anxiety also occurs at the same time whereby babies learn the game of “peek-a-boo”. I believe that somewhere in their brain, they have begun remembering objects and faces, but have not yet developed the cognitive ability of awareness. So when an object is hidden from sight, the baby thinks that it isn’t there anymore. And when the object appears, the baby thinks that it suddenly appeared and the baby is delighted by it. This is very similar to a magician performing an illusion and we get delighted and amused by it.
But when it comes to people, unlike objects, babies have emotional and relational attachments to them. Thus the disappearance of people – when they leave the room – triggers an anxiety and fear. They can’t understand how the person disappeared, where the person went, and if the person will come back. Of course, babies will eventually outgrow this phase as they mature cognitively. But the truth is, even as adults, we still have this sense of anxiety when we don’t see things where they should be.
This is made more obvious in the Christian context. How often have we prayed and wondered if God was listening? If God was really at work? If there even is a God? Sure, we have seen the works of His hands but we have yet to actually see God. The only case of men ever seeing God were recorded in the bible, most of them in the form of Jesus. Other than that, for us in the post-salvation-pre-rapture era, we have to live by faith and not by sight.
But the truth is this. God is here. He is listening. He cares. He is at work. But just like babies, we have not yet fully developed our ability to trust that God is around even though we can’t see Him. I totally understand this as a parent. I would never leave Livy alone by herself. If I have to leave her alone for awhile, I would put her somewhere safe like her playpen. She would kick and cry when I put her there because it’s restricting her freedom and to make matters worse – I leave the room – making it seem like I am abandoning her. I would leave her there to get her milk or whatever, but I was always an hear shot away. I hear her cries and it is unsettling for me, but I had to leave her to get stuff she needed. I know she’s frantically looking for me, afraid, terrified. When I finally return, we has nothing but smiles and joy.
I think much of the Christian life is like that. Sometimes we just need to develop that faith that God is even more at work when we don’t sense Him. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be afraid. I think the fear will always be there on this side of eternity. But it takes faith to overcome fear. Either ways, whether in fear of losing God or in faith that He will come back, the truth is, He will come back. So if we’re not feeling His presence, just learn to enjoy the moment when God does His reappearing act! =D