My friend Nick Knisely–Bishop of Rhode Island–is making his first visit to Israel. Reflecting on his experience at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, he shared a reflection that really spoke to me:
A companion of mine and I were later reflecting on a short passage from the Book of Acts where it is related that St. Paul said “these events did not happen in a corner”. They happened in a busy city, in a place where people have always gathered and where people still stream to visit for many reasons other than the fact of the events of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Seeing the Church drove home to me that point that Paul was making. This happened in a mundane, human scaled place. It is hard to get my mind wrapped around the simple small scale of a church building which easily contains the place of the crucifixion and the place of the resurrection, but it is just as it is, and just as it was. Small, noisy, and common.
God shows up in ordinary life. God shows up in places so mundane that we’re on automatic pilot and in the midst of things too commonplace even for YouTube. God shows up when the house is a wreck, our nerves are frayed, and our mind is wandering from chronic sleep deprivation.
I’m reminded of the Rebecca Wells title Little Altars Everywhere. The ancient Hebrews set up altars in places that they had encountered God. As it turns out, there are God places everywhere. If we took the time to look and feel and be, the world would be littered with little altars. There world is filled with God places.