They roamed the hallways, the sanctuary and the chancel. Some even braved the elements and ventured outside.
Their task? Go and find the Holy, and take a picture of it.
What?! You can actually take a picture of the Holy?!
This last weekend I was blessed to be part of a wonderful Advent retreat at St. Stephen’s, Edina with my long time soul brother Fran McKendree. I offered to those gathered that the season of preparation had three components: waiting, watching and anticipating.
During the ‘watching’ mediation I shared with them a discipline that a spiritual director had suggested to me. During the season of Lent I was tasked with taking a picture every day of where I experienced the presence of the Holy One. The spiritual director went on to challenge my expectations of where I might, in fact, encounter the presence of God.
So, iPhone in hand (like that’s new!), off I went for my morning run, walking the dog, even during breaks from meetings to seek places where God was being made known to me. I have to tell you, it was one of the best Lenten disciplines I have taken on in a long time. And as is always my hope and intention with Lenten disciplines, I have carried it on as one of my regular spiritual practices.
“You, O Eternal Trinity, are a deep sea into which, the more I enter, the more I find, and the more I find, the more I see. O eternal Godhead, O sea profound, what more could you give me than yourself.”
I offered these words from Saint Catherine Of Siena, and then invited those attending the Advent retreat to go find where God is being made known to you and take a picture. After a good amount of time I gathered folks back together and invited them to share, as they were comfortable, both their experiences and their pictures. The energy in the room made it clear that people did, in fact, find the Holy One in their midst.
After they had shared in pairs, I invited all those interested to send me their pictures which we projected for the entire gathering. Stained glass windows, candles, tables and chairs, a creek. An incredibly eclectic and diverse group of pictures were offered – pictures of where the sought after One was found.
My prayer for all of us this Advent season is that we will take time and be intentional to watch for the Lord…for surely the Lord is in our midst.