Your beloved many faced - face

A man came up to Jesus and complained about the hiddenness of God. "Rabbi," he said, " I am an old man. During my whole life, I have kept the commandments. Every year of my adult life, I went to Jerusalem and offered the prescribed sacrifices. Every night of my life, I have not retired to my bed without first saying my prayers. But ... I look at the stars and sometimes the mountains - and wait , wait for God to come so that I might see him. I have waited for years and years, but in vain. Why? Why? Mine is a great grievance, rabbi! Why, doesn't God show himself?"

Jesus smiled and responded gently: " Once upon a time there was a marble throne at the eastern gate of a great city. On this throne sat 3,000 kings. All of them called upon God to appear so that they might see him, but all went to their graves with their wishes unfulfilled..
"Then, when the kings had died, a pauper, barefooted and hungry, came and sat upon that throne. " God," he whispered, the eyes of a human being cannot look directly at the sun, for they would be blinded. How then, Omnipotent, can they look directly at you? have pity, Lord, temper your strength, turn down your splendour so that I, who am poor and afflicted, may see you."

"Then - listen, old man - God became a piece of bread, a cup of cool water, a warm tunic, a hut and, in front of the hut, a woman nursing an infant."

"Thank you , Lord," he whispered, " You humbled yourself for my sake." You became bread, water, a warm tunic and a wife and child in order that I might see you. And I did see you. I bow down and worship your beloved many faced -face.

Nikos Kazantzakis


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