very first question that God asks man in the Bible is, where are you? “The Lord called to the man, and
said to him, where are you?” (Genesis 3:9) It is not a question that demands sophisticated answers nor
are there multiple answers to this question. Rather, it is a question of concern from a loving
father and the only demand placed upon this question is that one answers
truthfully, even if the truth exposes something to us that highlights our selfishness
and our need for God.
Before God asked Adam this question Adam had committed a
sin by disobeying God’s commandment and ate from the tree God had forbidden him
to eat from. Adam had forgotten
about God’s love and choose to place his own will and desires over the will and
desires of God. Now Adam, ashamed
and afraid (which is always the fruit of sin) tries to hide from God because he
realizes something dramatic has occurred in his relationship with the Lord. The Lord simply asks him, Adam, where
This question, as old as the Bible itself, God continues to ask us
today. Throughout our lives,
throughout each day, and often several times a day, God is continually asking
us, “My son or my daughter, where are you? In other words, where is your heart right now? Is it tired, frustrated, angry? Is it overwhelmed by the demands of
life? Is it engrossed in selfish
activities? Is it immersed in lust,
pride, envy, jealousy, etc? Is it
distracted by the things of this world?
When the Lord asks us this question it
is an invitation from him to turn our eyes away from the many distractions we
often promote and to turn our eyes once again towards Him. It is our Father, gentle tapping us on
the shoulder and calling us back to Him.
Rather than living in future events, or reliving past wounds over and
over again it is an invitation to experience God in the present moment, the
only place where we can be guaranteed to encounter God.
Brother Jeremiah Myriam
Shryock, CFR, a Fourth Year Seminary Student Saint Joseph’s Seminary-Dunwoodie,
Yonkers, NY. Brother Jeremiah was ordained a deacon on May 29, 2010 with three
other Franciscan Friars of the Renewal by the Most Reverend Manual Cruz, an
auxiliary bishop of Newark. A poem of Brother Jeremiah’s, “After Eden,” was published here.