God moments

It’s Thursday night, and aside from printing off the bulletin with the choir’s notes tomorrow morning, I am *done* for the week. Powerpoint–done. Children’s sermon–done. Extra planning for next week’s meetings–done.

In the past few weeks I’ve discovered that I love building and dreaming up new ministries. I’m asking myself what I want to build at my church, and I have two interrelated answers: a strong Christian Education program, and a strong team approach to member care and engagement. And that’s exciting. I think it’s just a shift in focus; I’m not thinking of fixing a problem, but of building a solution/ a new way. It’s very invigorating!

And, the way I know this isn’t just some strange whacko idea, this week I’ve spent more time in prayer than I have in a long time. Let me clarify: I’m a mom, and when I say ‘prayer’ I no longer mean lighting a candle, folding my hands, and sitting cross-legged until I can clear my mind and listen to what the Divine is saying to me. By the time I’ve done that, my daighter would have climbed onto the kitchen counter and would be mixing the dish soap and the rum together with a ginsu knife. Waste of perfectly good rum, that. No, by prayer I mean being consciously aware of the presence of God in my everyday moments, something I’ve really been wanting to do, with very limited success. But this week I’ve felt the Spirit there, in conversations, in the flicker of the candle (my one traditional hold-over, and I’m burning them by the handful this week), in the laughter of my kid, in the giddy joy of inspiration. It’s the goosebumpy connection feeling, the this-is-where-I-need-to-be feeling, the sudden weight of responsibility and hope and life-giving life-loving work. That’s the new prayer, the ‘mommie spirituality’ as I call it; the God in all things and all things in God. I don’t know of many mystics who touted it, but then again, most of the mystics I read were men, and didn’t spend their afternoons introducing toddlers to their potties. We take the moments we have.

Walking home from a meeting tonight, down the long ‘block’ from the Lutheran Church to my house, I had one of my anti-atheist moments. I was just praying, really, talking to God, wishing each person could feel the simultaneous peace and exhilaration I was feeling, when it happened. Sometimes it just hits me, the connectedness of people and things, the spirit of living, and I nearly fall over. I was looking at the row of houses on my street, each with a person or group of people inside, each with a story, a vision, a need for love from God and from one another, each a disciple in one way or another on the journey of faith. And the homes and cars and little lampposts lining the sidewalk, the stuff with which we surround ourselves like busy little bees, toiling to find meaning in our little lives that are not so little to us. And I literally got chills; this is no perfect world, no well-made watch ticking in perfect precision, but it is our world, God’s world, tied together by tiny threads of life and love and sorrow and comfort and meaning, little threads of the spirit (somebody write this down, I think I’m developing a pneumatology!). And I just thought–I can’t even articulate it–wow. It’s connected. My life and vision and mission and hope, my journey, and the person there, and there, and there. We’re in this together, tied to one another, made significant to each other by the Spirit that unites us.

I’m not putting it into the right words. I think I all really thought was: Wow. God.

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