Becky Lowery and I had the pleasure of connecting on a mutual friend’s webiste when I wrote a guest post for him. We related as writers, theologically educated women, and sisters in Christ. I believe you will find Becky to be a deeply spiritual person through whose writing God speaks.
Wonder, Worship and Joy
I had a sort of epiphany in the car the other day. I don’t even know what I was thinking about when the idea that God’s presence is sort of like my wedding ring popped into my head. Like most people, I wear my ring all time, rarely taking it off—if ever. Most of the time I don’t pay any attention to it, but there are times when I am very aware of it. At those times I look at it, admire it, and maybe remember the day I picked it out with my then future husband. It’s very important to me. How is God’s presence like that? It is like that because he is present always—as Rob Bell likes to say, as close as our breath. Much of the time we are not really paying any attention to it, but there are those times when we are especially aware of the Presence admire it and take great comfort in it.
I call these times of awareness God-moments. God-moments come in all sizes—some more obvious than others. I am a part of a small group that meets weekly and each week we share our God-moments from the previous week. One week I had a very obvious God-moment that I couldn’t wait to share. It was an encounter with God that affected all of my senses as I helped a couple without a car deliver their heavy groceries and their bicycles home from the grocery store. Not only did I see God, but I talked with God, and smelled God. That God-moment led me to wonder, worship, and joy!
Some God-moments are not quite so obvious. The next week, as I was preparing for the group meeting, I began to think back over the week looking for God but I was having trouble finding even one God-moment. I went into the group with nothing in mind, but as we talked I was surprised by several small moments. I soon had remembered three instances of thoughts that had sprung into my mind only to have those thoughts confirmed by someone in my church—as if God was giving me the idea ahead of them. I was so relieved, and grateful, as I was led to wonder, worship, and joy.
God-moments can also be unusual or even humorous. A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting outside on my front porch in the evening listening to the sprinkler before I turned it off. The neighbor’s lovely cat, Lucy, was outside and when Lucy saw me, she promptly made herself comfortable in my lap. She rolled around on my lap purring, rubbing her head on my chin, and kneading my arm. It was exactly what I needed at that moment and felt that I was not being loved and adored by Lucy, but by God through Lucy. It really was a beautiful experience that led me to wonder, worship, and joy.
Then last week, I was in the store picking up some things to help out a friend whose daughter had been in an accident. I had gone in the store with a plan of what to buy for them, and what to buy for myself. On the list for myself was toilet paper; it was not on the list for them. However, when I arrived at its location in the store, I had the silly thought to grab a pack for them as well, so I did. I imagined that when I handed it to her, she would give me her usual side glance and think I was weird for buying them toilet paper. To my surprise, she smiled and practically hugged it as she carried it off, then asked if our other friend had told me that she was out. I was beyond surprised, I was shocked because I had no idea she was out and thought I was just being goofy by bringing her some. We laughed, but I was also led to wonder, worship, and joy.
Prior to each of these God-moments, I was unaware of his presence, and was made aware of his presence at different times during the events. Twice in the midst, once right after, and not until days later with another. It’s amazing to me how even when we are so caught up in our own lives that we can’t find God, he is still present. Like the ring.
Don’t read this and think that my life is like this all the time—one lovely God-moment after another, because it’s not. To be quite honest, there are days when I really do not like my life and days when I feel like I have been abandoned by God. Those are days when I am not feeling the wonder, not wanting to worship, and have no joy. But what keeps me going and moving forward toward another day is the constant presence of God and hope that I will make it through and things will get better, which they usually do. On those days, if I look hard enough I will find God and realize that he was in the warm breeze that is caressing my skin as I took a walk to clear my head during a difficult situation.
Becky Lowery is first and foremost called woman of God to be the wife of her weird husband and mother to her four weird kids. Secondly, Becky is pastor to an amazing group of people in Leighton, AL. Thirdly, Becky is an active part of the Austin High School Band Boosters. Fourthly, Becky is a full-time seminary student at Asbury Theological Seminary and has the goal of eventually taking part in the annual ordination service during Annual Conference in the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church. She struggles to stay organized, likes British television and listening to all kinds of good music—especially the Austin High School band! Finally, she seeks to be all that God wants her to be and do all that God wants her to do, honoring him in all she does.