"Then perhaps there is a third kind of loss - the loss that comes when you notice the limits of your knowledge of God, when you feel bereft of guidance, when you feel the loss of God's saving power or of God's grace. This feeling of loss is really a way of noting, and mourning, God's hiddenness."
Lauren F. Winner "Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis"
Hiddenness rather than absence. Perhaps. Less lonely and terrifying for the would-be-believer. More frustrating.
I stop Audrey before our meal to say a simple prayer of thanks, "Dear God, thank you for our food." I've been at a loss as to what thank God for since your death...since I'm not supposed to hold him accountable for negative events- I wasn't sure how to continue for positive ones. (Holding God accountable sounds quite ridiculous though, doesn't it?) But for whatever reason, I feel it important to teach Audrey thankfulness.
I did not grow up praying before meals. It had never even occurred to me. When I was a first year in college at the University of Virginia, sitting in the first year cafeteria, I saw another student, stop before his tray of cutlery and plate of food, and bow his head silently. I thought it was the most beautiful thing I'd seen. I wasn't in the "Christian" culture yet, the one where everyone does this and it means a lot less.
After I say the short prayer with Audrey, she answers back a short while into our meal, "God doesn't say anything."
"He doesn't say anything."
More theology with a three year old. I think about how I could answer that the Bible is supposed to be the inspired Word of God and when we read it, he can speak to us through it. But this is confusing to even me, so I decide against it.
All I can say is, "No, you're right...he doesn't does he?"