Moses knows it’s a bold prayer, no one can see God and live. But they’ve been through so much together, he can’t resist it. Just a glimpse, just a moment. And incredibly, God complies. ‘I’ll hide you in that crevice,’ God says, ‘and for a moment you will see me. So don’t blink. Don’t look away or stop concentrating.’
Moses feels the press of an invisible hand, like a strong wind blowing him backwards into the roughly hewn crack in the rock. And he pins his eyelids back, refuses to blink. And sees what he longs to see, a vision of the God who has befriended him. The God with whom he has bantered, wrestled, argued, cried and laughed. His friend.
Years, decades, centuries later, the lovers remember Moses plea, and, can’t help voicing similar words. To each other, and to the great Lover. Hide me in the cleft in the rocks, so I can see you and hear you. Let me see your face and hear your voice.
And years, decades, centuries later our cry goes up. Lovers still. To the great Lover. Longing for more. ‘Hide us, stop us, cover us with your hand, help us notice you Lord, give us a rare glimpse. Open our eyes, unstop our ears, may we not miss those moments when you are passing by. In the rush and quiet, in the roar and the whisper. Not so we may beg a blessing, or make a promise, or send up a plea. But because you are, and in you we find our place.’
Ephesians 3 vv 17-19, Exodus 33 vv 12-23 & Song of songs 2 v 14