Signed by God


Vincent van Gogh’s signature (source)

“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” by Walt Whitman

I first heard this quote from Walt Whitman’s work at a Leading Congregations in Mission (LCM) retreat this past weekend, and it immediately captured my attention. I just wanted to share it with everyone I know!

This! This is my God!

I love how this mentality changes every small daily task into an opportunity to encounter the Divine. It’s so painfully obvious that if I’m a child of God, then you must be one too, but it’s too easy to forget that in the daily tasks of life.

Jesus was constantly picking up God’s letters off the street, reading them, loving them, and acknowledging how miraculous they were. That’s the kind of world I want to live in: where everyone celebrates just how miraculous their cashier at Starbucks is or just how much they love their car mechanic.

And everyone is signed by God’s name! Signing a work of art is the last thing an artist does. He or she won’t sign until the work is just as they want it to be. I believe the Creator is like that too. No matter how rough that person looks that you’ve passed on the street a thousand times, God’s signature is there. God is proud of that work and longs for us to marvel at Divine creation.

As a recent college graduate, I myself am guilty of wishing God would more directly communicate with me so that I can be sure I’m doing the right thing or making the right decisions, but now I’m learning that I should just slow down and relish the notes that God is passing me every day through the people I encounter. To love and to cherish others – that will always be the right thing to do!

4 thoughts on “Signed by God

  1. Erica Blevins Nye says:

    Thanks, Emma! I read your post while I was writing an article about the priesthood ministry of Teachers. I was trying to find the language to express the Teachers’ special call to recognize and honor the Christ in each person they minister with. Your post expresses it perfectly!

  2. Michele McGrath says:

    Love this! This is exactly the kind of world in which I want to live! Where we find a way to notice the holy in the ordinary. Thanks for posting.

  3. David Brock says:

    Great post, Emma! Reminded me of a favorite quote. These are just a few words from a great reflection, in PILGRIM AT TINKER CREEK, if you want to read further.

    “The world is fairly studded and strewn with pennies cast broadside by a generous hand. But- and this is the point- who gets excited by a mere penny? But if you cultivate a healthy poverty and simplicity, so that finding a penny will literally make your day, then, since the world is in fact planted in pennies, you have with your poverty bought a lifetime of days.”

    ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

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