I buy myself flowers a lot. Sometimes I find them in the clearance section of the supermarket, somedays I find them in Greektown in a big green bucket along the sidewalk. They always find their way to the same spot: on my desk, in the glass vase, next to my typewriter.
I’m learning that the spaces I cultivate matters. Even just to write those words across this page I can feel a tightness in my chest. Does it? the ever-present cynical asks. Does it matter if I create a space I feel welcomed, wanted, creative?
I think it does. I’m learning it does.
Because when we stop to put flowers in a vase, and watch the light filter through the thin petals, we invite God into the mundane. When I open the windows to hear the breeze through the trees and the rain bounce off the roof, I stop and invite God into the moment. When I turn off the distractions on a screen and spend time creating my meal, and watching the way the knife slices through the coloured peppers:
it invites joy into that space.
And I need more of it. I need more of joy, and I need more of God.
Each Tuesday night I’ve been spending in an old Presbyterian church downtown, with an Anglican priest up front, teaching on the Lord’s prayer. In that space, age and denomination and gender don’t matter. He breaks the prayer down, word by word, and invites God into the simple prayer He taught. Simple yet so profound. He reminds us to begin and end our day with the prayer, the way the Lord taught, and I’ve been doing it.
The things I’ve shied away from – discipline, recitation, repetition – there is a life I have found in those things. Because it’s in those spaces we can invite God in, invite Him to breath life where there was none. He alone aids us to see what was hidden before.
And it happens most when I invite Him in, whisper His name, in the places I least expect Him to be. Like flowers on a desk. Rainstorms. Cut peppers simmering on the stove. Repeated words, morning and night.
Although I know God is in all places, as the psalmist eloquently reminds us – I think He becomes most apparent to us when we acknowledge Him. And I’m learning there is great strength in our weakness when we take the time to invite Him in. When we hallow His name.
And so I continue, as the sun breaks open the day and as it draws it to a close, whispering those words:
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.