Sometimes God tried to explain this to the people, but they could not understand. He tried to tell them through the leaves of trees, and through the songs of birds. He planted His truth in the eyes of every child, and He waited for the people to see it. But they would not look, and so they did not see.
The people, however, did love God. They were fascinated by Him. They adored and feared Him, and they chose beautiful ways to worship Him. They did not all choose the same way, of course, because God had long ago breathed into each of these people the gifts of self-expression and choice. So some of the people heard a hymn to God in the striking of a bell, and some heard it in the voice of a man calling them to prayer.
God heard them both. But in time, another sound started to drown out the hymns He loved. It was the sound of the people, quarrelling amongst themselves as to whose god God was.
God bowed His head and wept. And the people looked up and said, "Ah, rain."
For a time, they were distracted, and they began to speak of weather and soil and geography. But inevitably, they returned to their arguing. And this time they quarrelled about whose land God's land was.
"Mine," said God, whispering the word through the rustle of leaves. But the people could not hear the word over the noise of their angers and their fears.
"Yours," said God, scattering the word through the songs of birds. But the people were too busy gathering evidence to spare any time to find the word.
"Ours," said God, shining the word through the eyes of children. But the people kept their eyes fixed, burning with hate, upon each other, and did not notice the word.
Besides, the people had found a new word, a word that felt powerful and reassuring. It was not a word that was as powerful and reassuring as God Himself, but it felt real and solid. It could be touched and prodded and probed, taken apart and put back together.
"Proof!" all the people cried, in a brief moment of unity. "Proof is what we need!"
And God wondered when proof had replaced Him. Faith was all He had hoped for, and all His gifts had been gifts of love. Proof had never been one of them.
Nobody knows the exact day when He walked quietly away from those 2.77 acres of land, and nobody said goodbye, because nobody noticed He had left.