– Silence and Solitude in the Christian life DLT
Space for God grew out of an experience of personal brokenness, painful exploring and slow rediscovery of faith. It seemed to touch a chord for many people. Though out of print it is still doing the rounds. It was published in the States as ‘A Center of Quiet” (‘Space for God’ sounded a bit too much like ‘Jupiter for Jesus’ I guess). It is a book of cairns and marker-posts. It is not a blueprint, but a collection of fragments, reflections, experiences and journeys … a scrap-book – a companion for fellow-travellers.
Here is a taster ….
God is not closer to us in church than in the supermarket. he is not more alive in the country than in the inner city. We must constantly refuse the suggestion that he is ‘here’ but not ‘there’. We are simply reflecting our own preferences … Of course there are moments when god ism ore real to u than others. There will be times when God meets us in special ways. But we must beware of a kind of spiritual apartheid that separates our ‘holy places’ from the rest of life. This is the discipline of silent contemplation. Away from the surface of life, with all its superficial judgements and petty discriminations, we learn to recognise and reverence the deeper source of life in all things.
After I was ordained I worked in a church in London. My Sunday routine meant an early walk down the deserted high street, under a grimy railway bridge , past a pub and a rather drab row of shops. the pavement was filthy with litter and worse, from the night before. t was an uninspiring start to the Lord’s day.
But one particular Sunday I turned into the High Street and knew it as a holy place. It was the same old road, but god was there. I stopped in my tacks and slowly drank in the realisation that all this dirt and drab greyness was soaked in something holy It was so improbable. In that Presence everything felt infinitely loved – and infinitely loveable. I waned to laugh and cry an stay silent all at once. I anted to dance for joy and hide in fear. But perhaps the most abiding sense of that vision was the realisation that this was no specal visit. What I glimpsed in that moment was the longing abiding Presence that held all life in its made,headlong flight – the Presence that we would soon drown out with the roar of traffic and trampling humanity …..
from chapter 12 Hidden Treasure