Edged in Glory

Of all the works I read during my spiritual direction training at Centerpoint, Ester de Waal’s Extraordinary in the Ordinary was most transforming. She wrote of the Celtic practice of integrated spirituality – an approach to life in which ordinary people in their daily lives took the tasks at hand and “treated them sacramentally – as a pointer to a greater reality which lay before them.” This allowing of the extraordinary to break into the ordinary is rooted in the simple belief that God is close at hand.

My approach to daily life was transformed as I began to keep an eye open for how was God present in the routine, mundane aspects of my life.  As I found the extraordinary in the ordinary I let “the mundane become the edge of glory.” The Edged in Glory banner was created in response to de Waal’s article as an expression of my spiritual journey during Centerpoint I.

Although Edged in Glory is the most exuberant and complicated of all my banners, I am most drawn to the empty silence of the green upper right corner. As I began to ask how is God present in that, the green seemed to bring me back to my abiding image of my father sitting in his green Naugahyde chair, smoking a cigarette, drinking a cup of coffee, lost in thought – present, but unavailable because of the current circumstance of his health and its impact on his vocation as a dentist. That image darkly influenced by prayer life with God.

The experience of centering prayer – sitting in the presence of God began to change that image, I was reminded of the pleasant times my father and I spent together in parallel play while working in his shop, talking without words, content in one another’s presence. My image of God was transformed in the process as I came to trust in His availability and that He often speaks to me in images rather than words, and through a sense of “knowing.”  Even my image of God changed from an image of unavailable silence to one of treasured comfort. In my mind’s eye I see Him sitting in a green Naugahyde chair, with a cigarette between His fingers, drinking a cup of coffee, lovingly waiting for me.