Thursday, May 01, 2008

Wood for the trees

A few weeks ago towards the end of the meeting in Zac's, Sean spoke about not restricting God, not limiting him. It reminded me of a piece I'd written a few years ago. I re-vamped it and read it the following week. It's about God being everywhere if we look. This is an excerpt from it (or rather two excerpts from the beginning and the end). The rest can be read here.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
I used to keep God in a box. Well, actually it was a tin, a Golden Virginia tobacco tin that my grandfather gave me. I kept the tin on the bookshelf in my bedroom next to Five Get Lost at Sea. Every night before I went to sleep, I’d take down the tin, open it and talk to God.

Then one day, a few weeks ago, I was in a meeting, and listening to someone speaking. Actually I was half listening because I was looking around at the same time. At the other side of the room I could see a man with a beard. He was making coffee for someone who’d just arrived late. Standing next to him was a man with a shaved head and lots of tattoos; I’d seen him deal gently with a drunk. Sitting at one side was a woman. You can see from her face that her life hasn’t been easy but her eyes were shining. Near her was another woman. Her eyes were closed but her skin that only months ago had been furrowed was smooth. Across from them were two lads who, despite having their own troubles, help others in charity shops. And then there was the man whose wife is seriously ill. And the girl whose intelligence and thoughtfulness can stay hidden unless it’s looked for. And the woman who doesn’t often speak but when she does, you want to listen. And the man and his dog who share everything. And the woman who’s come into the warm to sleep. Then I caught the eye of the speaker and he’s grinning as he talks over the snoring.
And suddenly I realised. I’d been looking so hard I couldn’t see.
God was in church, just as real-ly as he is out on the cliffs. And maybe he does smell of coconut or tobacco or mints - or alcohol.



Further on up the road said...

I've got mate with a God box it's a green tin (think it originally had coffee in it) that sits on his TV. The way he "prays" is to write the prayer down and put it in the tin for God to deal with.

MissKris said...

Oh my...I just love the concept of the God box. Wasn't it you who wrote about it fairly recently? I can just picture you as a girl with your box and talking to God every night...what a lovely way to make God more real in a child's life! I love 'further up the road's' mate's idea, too, of tucking prayers inside his box and letting God take care of them. Mercy...the things I've learned since I entered the blogsophere!

Book Owl said...

Further to our emails, Liz, yes, of course I should be seeking out the local church - how ridiculous to think I could manage without them. In fact, Pete has been encouraging it and I was so sure I did not need them. How restrictive I've been.

Susan said...

I love it! I had forgotten until I read your post that I had a Prayer Jar. Everytime I had trouble letting go of something I would write it down and let it go. Or for a conrol freak like me~I tried to let it go.

jmb said...

Good story Liz. Many people have God in a box that they only take out on Sunday but ignore the rest of the week.

Liz said...

That's a good idea, furtheron.

Blogging is educational, kris, that's what I tell Husband!

it's wonderful when we can let go of our concerns, susan, but not always easy!

jmb, that's true of lots of peple, isn't it?

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