I’m going to go back to what I love during this Lenten Season…taking photos and highlighting the beauty in the everyday, the sacredness of all that is around us, and in doing so, finding God in his creation.
I’ll be using Diana Butler Bass’ Grounded: Forty Day Devotional as a guide. I hope you’ll join me on this 40 day journey back to Immanuel, God with us.
“As I stood on a corner and looked out on the scene, all my senses were alive, coaxed to full attentiveness by vibrant colors, bright chimes in the wind, the cool sound of a saxophone. . . . The street was full of people of all sorts, white, black, and brown, young and old, from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds. Children were laughing and running up and down the street with balloons. Neighbors greeted one another. . . . The energy, the creativity—how wonderful it was!” (Grounded, p. 235)
In today’s reflection Diana sums up my thoughts on this so beautifully. “For generations, we expected that God would show up in our buildings—churches, synagogues, and temples of all sorts. But one of the most important stories of the New Testament makes the point the God shows up with the crowd, on the streets. The Spirit knows no boundaries, especially walls we erect to try to mark the holy as distinct from the world.”
I can’t help but think about the things we may miss, the holy moments in the ordinary things that pass us by because we are so convinced that God is only present in our churches. I know we always say that the church is not a building, it’s the people. But how many of us truly look for him outside of the constructs of church, actually look for him in the faces of those who aren’t part of our christian circles? In the faces of our neighbors.
I have always loved this quote from Madeleine L’Engle, “There is nothing so secular that it cannot be sacred, and that is one of the deepest messages of the Incarnation.” We can find and know God through our neighbors; in the ordinary moments, outside of the boxes we have so carefully packed him in. Where secular moments become holy moments.
You have given all peoples one common origin,
and your will is to gather them as one family in yourself.
Fill the hearts of all with the fire of your love
and the desire to ensure justice for all our sisters and brothers.
By sharing the good things you give us
may we secure justice and equality for every human being,
an end to all division, and a human society built on love and peace.”
(From Pope John Paul II, Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 1987)