Frederick Buechner On God's Presence

Image from Photobucket Keefer

A frequent refrain in Frederick Buechner's writing and speaking has been listen to your life
Through remembering the past, and attending to the odds and ends of his everyday life, Buechner manages to mine a richness that lies below the surface of things. 

"There is a God right here in the thick of our day-to-day lives," he writes in The Magnificent Defeat, "who may not be writing messages about deity in the stars,
but who in one way or another is trying to get messages through our blindness as we move around down here knee-deep in the fragrant muck and misery and marvel of the world." 

From an article on Buechner here 

Some more notable quotes for reflection from Buechner from various sources..

It is not objective proof of God’s existence that we want but, whether we use religious language for it or not, the experience of God’s presence. That is the miracle that we are really after. And that is also, I think, the miracle that we really get.

These words that God speaks to us in our own lives are the real miracles. They are not miracles that create faith as we might think that a message written in the stars would create faith, but they are miracles that it takes faith to see—faith in the sense of openness, faith in the sense of willingness to wait, to watch, to listen, for the incredible presence of God here in the world among us.

Power, success, happiness, as the world knows them, are his who will fight for them hard enough; but peace, love, joy are only from God. 
And God is the enemy whom Jacob fought there by the river, of course, and whom in one way or another we all of us fight—God, the beloved enemy.
Our enemy because, before giving us everything, he demands of us everything; before giving us life, he demands our lives—our selves, our wills, our treasure.

And this means that we are never safe, that there is no place where we can hide from God, no place where we are safe from his power to break in two and recreate the human heart, because it is just where he seems most helpless that he is most strong, and just where we least expect him that he comes most fully.

Faith is a way of looking at what is seen and understanding it in a new sense.

Faith is a way of looking at what there is to be seen in the world and in ourselves and hoping, trusting, believing against all evidence to the contrary that beneath the surface we see there is vastly more that we cannot see. 
Loving God means rejoicing in him. It means trusting him when you can think of a hundred reasons not to trust anything. It means praying to him even when you don’t feel like it.

It means watching for him in the beauty and sadness and gladness and mystery of your own life and of life around you.

Loving each other doesn’t mean loving each other in some sentimental, unrealistic, greeting-card kind of way but the way families love each other even though they may fight tooth and nail and get fed to the teeth with each other and drive each other crazy yet all the time know deep down in their hearts that they belong to each other and need each other and can’t imagine what life would be without each other–even the ones they often wish had never been born.

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