“Look Where I’m Pointing”
In the fall of 2006, the same year my son, Adrian, was born, my dad passed away. The absence of his presence in my life was brought to mind this morning while Adrian and I hurried out the front door to the bus stop. Somewhere high in the chilly fall sky a lone Canadian goose could be heard as it passed over. The sound of geese will never cease to remind me of my dad, a man whose life revolved around the hunting seasons.
As Adrian and I walked over to the bus stop, I said to him, “I wonder what it would be like if I still had my dad? It’s such a strange thing. How would life have been different for us if you still had both your grandpas?” After silently walking the last few steps to the mailbox where we wait for the bus, Adrian said, “you still have your dad.”
Not really expecting that one, I stopped and looked over at him. There he stood, head slightly down, but eyes looking up into mine, with one of his fingers pointing to his chest. “What?”, I said with a chuckle, “You’re my dad?”
“No.”, he said, looking somewhat insecure but still determined to get his point across, “look where I’m pointing.”
It was so beautifully appropriate. Of all the things he could have said, he decided to forego words to the preference of a gesture. He said, “You still have your dad.” and “Look where I’m pointing.”
After wrapping my boy in a big hug (what else could I do?), I stood there thinking of the words of Karl Rahner on the question of where our loved ones are who have passed on. The point he made really struck me. To enter into God, to die, is to enter into the same silence in which we creatures experience God. Somewhere in that paradoxical proposition that “God is nowhere and God is everywhere” lies the answer to the question of where our loved ones have gone. They are “with God,” and that means they are nowhere and that they are everywhere.
“That is how my dead imitate Your silence: they remain hidden from me because they have entered into Your Life. The words of their love no longer reach my ears because they are conjoined with the jubilant song of Your endless Love. My dead live the unhampered and limitless Life that You live; they love with Your Love; and thus their life and their love no longer fit into the frail and narrow frame of my present existence. I live a dying life…so how can I expect to experience their eternal life, which knows no death?” Karl Rahner, Encounters With Silence 57.