Three or four years ago, I was praying before a meal in a restaurant, and thought a waitress had walked up beside me waiting on me to stop praying, to speak to me. It was an overshadowing feeling that someone was standing over me, watching. I started to open my eyes and look to see who it was, and realized I would be missing something special, if I did so. It became clear to me that this third presence was actually the Holy Spirit.
In that situation, There was me. There was whoever else was around. And there was God. Each of these were clearly known to me, there in my surroundings. However, while the Third Presence was known by me; He was not known by all.
There is a verse in the Bible that speaks about this kind of touch by God It says: “The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty.” The whole passage reads this way.
King James Version (KJV)
17The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save,
he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy
over thee with singing.
The same verse in another translation; The New King James
Version says it like this:
17 The LORD your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”
And The New Living Translation gives just a clearer view in today’s language:
17 For the Lord your God
is living among you.
He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With his love, he will calm all your fears.a]”[a]
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
As I think of the thought of these verses; I realize that
I have also had this sense that someone was over me, behind me and watching over me in private prayer .
During these times, I have become aware that this third presence definitely was God, even though no one else was around.
I know that God is in us. And many times, I am aware of this. Yet there are times it is hard to sense, because of all I am experiencing dealing with the world and its problems.
The internal chatter makes it difficult for to clearly sense Him internally, at these times. So what a joy to realize that God is also with us externally, as an unseen friend.
There is a popular art print that hangs in many Quaker Meetings of the Christ standing in the Facing bench section unseen but definitely present, in the meeting. So often this is what God does in our lives; He makes us aware of His presence but remains unseen.
God is never showy or pushy. He chooses to remain in the background but is definitely there for those who seek, to know Him. God is fine with remaining out of sight to the casual observer, while at the same time showing Himself to those who are wanting His presence and seeking His help.
So I find that God is The “Holy Other.” He is involved in our affairs but yet removed from them. He is with us but still over us. He abides and walks alongside and yet is above and oversees.
There is a wonderful reality of God as The Third Presence, for those who seek Him. May you find Him now. May He be your unseen Friend.
public domain photo