"Late at night, you think you hear a knocking at the door of your heart. You peer out the window into the darkness, clutch the folds of your robe. Maybe you imagined it. You begin to head back to bed when the knocking comes again, more urgent now.

" 'Excuse me?' a voice calls. 'I'm a little lost. And hungry.'

"You hesitate for a moment longer, measuring habitual caution against an irrational surge of fearlessness. The scales tip and you throw open your heart-door to greet the stranger there.

" 'Welcome home,' you say.

"Only then do you recognize her face. It is God! And she looks exactly like you.

"Then there are the nights when you bolt the door of your heart, stuff wads of silicone in your ears and pop a pill so that nothing can reach you. You would like to be available, but your days are long and your cupboards are bare. You aspire to make each act an offering to the Divine, yet sometimes it is all you can do to take out the garbage without bursting into tears. You wish you could see the face of God in everyone always, but your eyes are clouded by longing and disappointment.

"Besides, the Holy One has a tendency to hide behind preposterous disguises: he is the homeless man lumbering through the park talking to himself in a loud voice, a pint of Cuervo Gold tucked into the back pocket of his jeans; she is the teenager texting her boyfriend and applying mascara at the stoplight after it has turned green; he is the young father gambling away his children's dinner at the Indian casino on his way home from another day at the sewage treatment plant; she is the elderly woman slowly counting out change at the convenience store when you are late for a job interview; and he is the Very Busy Man who does not give you the job.

"You understand that this is why all the sacred teachings remind us to be vigilant: God could pop up anywhere, anytime, and drop his mask. When he does, we must be sure we have treated him like God, no matter how he was behaving."