There is no magic formula for this, no rubbing of a genie bottle or snapping of the fingers to make it so. It can happen so quickly and unexpectedly that you are overcome by a holy moment, a marvelous brush with a sacred presence.
And sometimes, it happens when you are wholly unaware of what you are about to encounter.
That’s how it went down on Monday, on that mostly empty beach at the edge of a rural Iowa swimming hole. It’s the kind of pond where you can’t see your feet, but you can feel the mud oozing up between your toes.
And right there, in the most ordinary spot on Earth, I brushed up against The Extraordinary. It was one of those moments when the weight of glory wings its way onto your skin without warning. It came on the summer breeze, and it hovered over my soul, and I felt the vibration of invisible strings on my insides.
It was one of those ridiculously wondrous moments when you hold your breath, and you look around to see if anyone just felt what you felt: an earthquake of the soul. And you know those aren’t goosebumps on your skin. They are God-bumps.
It wasn’t about the right worship music, or the perfect prayer, or the thundering voice of the preacher whose words hit you smack between the eyes.
No, it was just this: sweet spot of God.
At the time, I was reading Tozer, on my Kindle, when it happened. I was sitting on a banged-up lawn chair, with one foot resting on a sand beach, which was really mostly rock. And the girls, they were looking for frogs on the water’s edge.
It wasn’t about a formula, or a magic trick, or a manmade atmosphere that tries feebly to point heavenward. It was God alone.
Under the blue dome of the heavens, I read Tozer’s words: Always and everywhere, God is present, but most of the time, we don’t even know it. And what a difference it would make if we really did.
And I’m reading those words, when the sacred pays a visit. God. Right. Here.
I close my eyes, and for a moment, there is a holy hush, and only one Presence of which I am aware. Not of myself, but only of God. A single tear slides down my cheek, and I don’t wipe it away, for even this tear holds the weight of glory — a single drop alive with God.
Surely, the presence of the Lord is in this place.
“We need never shout across the spaces to an absent God. He is nearer than our own soul, closer than our most secret thoughts.”
— A.W. Tozer