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.
Day 6: “Had I ever believed that God was in a far off place called heaven? Was I ever spiritually satisfied worshipping God inside a building with four walls and no connection to the world outside? Faith has turned me increasingly toward the soil, not away from it. To his garden, to the earth. And God is here.” (Grounded, pp. 63-64)
Did I believe God was in a far off place called heaven? A thousand times yes.
Did I believe he actually still walked among us, with me, in his garden? A thousand times no.
He was too holy, too much God, to actually leave the throne room. He was the malevolent ruler, meting out judgment for all of my sin and wrongdoing. There was absolutely no way I was good enough for him to actually be with me.
I became Christian at the age of 15, but the concept of God being here, with me, was so foreign to me, and extremely unlikely. My early years in church were filled with rules and regulations. Excruciatingly long altar calls with all manner of wailing and gnashing of teeth. That may be a slight exaggeration, but there were many tears, and begging for absolution. So much sorrow for the perfection I could never achieve.
I spent a lot of years in church before I actually heard that God loved me, and consequently, a lot of years hiding in plain sight. Working in church, immersing myself so fully into my job that I left no room for him. Many more years passed before I started to see him, here with me, in the everyday moments. In the whole of creation. There are still days that I find myself wanting to hide, getting so caught up in the busyness and turmoils of life, so ensnared in the guilt and shame of the past, that there is no room for him.
I want to continue to be mindful that God is not above or beyond, but inexplicably woven into the tapestry around us. To notice the sacred in the everyday, ordinary moments. To know that his creation, this holy ground, is where I can meet him whenever I take the time to do so.
“Let me not be afraid of encountering holiness in the garden,
even when I feel temptation and shame.
For love overcomes our failures and mistakes.”
Diana Butler Bass