I can remember hearing that voice from behind me during my Girl Scout hiking days: Look up! You’re missing everything! Indeed, being too concerned about tripping or, my greatest fear, stepping on a snake, will indeed keep you from seeing the beauty around you. But I think you can take that advice too far. If you never look at where you’ve planted your feet you just might miss where you are at that very moment and miss the Presence with you.
For a few months now, I have been gathering with a group of clergy colleagues and a spiritual director. We are attempting to stay grounded – to see God’s presence in the midst of the demands of the pastoral life that we all lead. We all have spouses, kids, pressures, and demands that can too easily keep us from caring and nurturing our own connection with God. It is a gift – a safe space to be.
We gathered this morning in our familiar place and gave way to the Spirit’s prodding. I reflected on the past few weeks that have included sitting with JP as he has gone through surgery and a follow-up stay in the hospital with pneumonia and pleurisy. The irony is that during this incredibly stressful time I finally had some space to be in, of all places, the hospital. I am quite adept at finding reasons to not take time for me but in the midst of sitting with JP there was not much else to do but be. He had a great view out of his room that overlooked a cool, old church with Lake Erie in the distance. As he would come in and out of awareness I would sit with my cup of coffee, my feet propped up on the windowsill, doing crosswords, reading a mindless novel, or simply gazing into the distance. In the span of a couple of hours I was nourished. I knew JP was being taken care of and that he would eventually move beyond the pain. K2 was in school, life at the church was being managed by amazing colleagues. All was well.
I had to giggle a bit during one of the moments of silence this morning to recognize the pieces on the table before me: A Cleveland Clinic water cup, candlelight, my coffee cup and my feet. Maybe in my effort to find space I’ve been neglecting where I am right now. God speaks in such humorous ways at times.
Look down! God is here!
A friend of mine has a great weekly post on her blog called Five Facts for Friday. I love reading it: sometimes it makes me laugh out loud, sometimes it makes me ponder, sometimes it makes me cry a bit. I’ve missed the practice of blogging and brainstormed recently with her about what weekly post I could do. I think I’ve found it.
Where have your feet taken you this week? I know how hard it is to pay attention to God. I know it is crazy to think about finding an hour to soak in God’s presence. The two hours I spend once a month with my colleagues feels so extravagent. But my feet? Maybe it is a simple as paying attention to my feet. Friday Feet doesn’t have quite the same flow as Five Facts for Friday – any suggestions?
In the meantime, Look down! God is here!