The mystical presence of God was celebrated by the earliest Christians. Saint Paul knew God as the One in whom “we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28), there being nothing that is not of God. Jesus said the kingdom of God is spread upon the earth and we don’t see it (Gosp. Thomas 113). To look for God anywhere but in this present little instant is to consign oneself to never finding God at all. Look here, look now, the great mystics urged. Whitman knew where to look, and who can resist his poetic invitation to join him in looking for God in the face of the next person we meet? Not I.
I hear and behold God in every object, yet understand God not in the least,
Nor do I understand who there can be more wonderful than myself.
Why should I wish to see God better than this day?
I see something of God each hour of the twenty-four, and each moment then,
In the faces of men and women I see God, and in my own face in the glass,
I find letters from God dropt in the street, and every one is sign’d by God’s name,
And I leave them where they are, for I know that wheresoe’er I go,
Others will punctually come for ever and ever.
from “Song of Myself,” part 48