Week 3 Day 1: Pray

Question: Where do you find God in the ordinary?

Write your Answer – click here

Share: #ssjetime #pray

Transcript of Video:

So … the other thing I think I’d like to say about prayer is I think, in and of its essence, it’s something that we can do all the time. I don’t think prayer has… And I say this a lot to people that I see in direction, because they say, “I don’t have time to pray,” which I can understand. That makes perfect sense to me when very busy people say they don’t have time to pray. And prayer is something I think that can be practiced as long as we practice awareness. As long as we practice awareness of the presence that is present to us at all times and in all places and in all situations, we can pray continuously. Prayer doesn’t have to be – it doesn’t always have to take the form of sitting on a cushion in a quiet space facing a wall. Or it doesn’t always have to take the – doesn’t always have to have it happen in the context of choral prayer in chapel (as much as I love that kind of prayer also). It’s something that can happen at every moment, if we put intentionality behind the moment.

So as long as we are aware, we can be praying. Somebody said every time we encounter another being, whether it’s a cat or a dog or a bird or a human being, that can call to mind the presence, because it’s a being, it’s another being. It’s something that exists complete, separate, and whole, apart from me or anything that I had to with it – just pure gift of presence to me.

-Br. Robert L’Esperance


  1. Denise Drane on January 4, 2021 at 09:52

    With sheltering at home because of the virus, I have spent much more time being able to watch the birds than usual in spring, summer fall and now winter. I have appreciated their beauty so much and that beauty always makes me think of God. The sparrows always remind of how much God cares for them and us.

  2. Dennis on March 11, 2020 at 11:54

    Where do you find God in the ordinary?
    as long as we are aware, we can be praying
    call to mind the presence, the pure gift of presence

    For me meals with family, friends are sharing communion and God is there
    In gatherings, I often feel Presence among us
    When I am alone often in the midst of mundane things

  3. Dennis on March 8, 2020 at 15:30

    Where do I find God in the Ordinary?
    One of my teachers used to tell me, every time something good happens, see God and say thank you. So I do. Often it happens in little things like making a green light, finding a parking space, preparing a delicious meal. On the other hand, when someone cuts me off in traffic, saying “namaste” to them – lightens my heart. When I drive through the hills as I do my errands or for my appointments, God is always present in the natural beauty around me.

  4. Janet on April 7, 2019 at 19:37

    Everyday, everywhere. I really love the worksheet page on “how to pray” – the morning, noon and night. I captured that and grabbed my Common Book of Prayer to discover the psalms. I have journaled each AM for years in exactly the way described. Did I never know before how to really pray? Memories of Catholic recitations and discipline that felt punitive.

  5. Jaan Sass on March 28, 2019 at 15:19

    Mother Teresa use to say I“I see Jesus in every human being. I say to myself, this is hungry Jesus, I must feed him. This is sick Jesus. This one has leprosy or gangrene; I must wash him and tend to him. To see God’s image in everyone especially those we serve. I guess maybe what we do can be made or done prayerfully.

  6. Gwedhen Nicholas on March 14, 2019 at 10:16

    Being of Celtic descent, I find God everywhere. I don’t think that anything is ordinary. A poem I know says something like this:”The world is charged with the glory of God”. Glory is giving God substance and significance, therefore all that He has created can show God to us. Everything shows glory- animals, plants, trees, birds, rocks etc., everything that God has made shows God to us, we just have to have eyes to see.

    • Meg on March 21, 2019 at 07:19

      Is anything actually ordinary? Life to me is a mystery, a beautiful, wonderful mystery and the fact that we can actually feel a deep connection to our creator and learn how to live by studying the life of Christ while he walked this earth is the mist wonderful gift of all.

  7. Brenda on March 14, 2019 at 10:03

    I find God in my grandchildren and my work!

  8. Tina on March 14, 2015 at 09:10

    Everywhere, all around me ! Especially in my family, friends, and my old faithful dog, Bayley always by my side.

  9. Louise on March 12, 2015 at 18:45

    On a walk with my “grandpuppy”…in his enthusiasm, in the wildflowers about to burst into bloom, in the oak trees in bud, in the flower-covered hillsides along the highway. I feel so lucky to be living where I do and conscious of my blessings.

  10. Dana on March 9, 2015 at 08:39

    In my Son’s laugh, and his smile. In sunbeams shooting through the clouds, in rainbows, in the sounds of the waves crashing to the shore, in moments of gratitude, in moments of deep sadness, in moments of kindness and tenderness, in humanity.

  11. Terri on March 9, 2015 at 05:51

    I find him in the regular places; the kids I teach, animals, nature, but I find him a lot when I start to panic, and I need to take a breath and calm myself. He’s a little like a mantra that way. It’s good to appreciate God wherever you find him, but it’s great to be able to get to him when I need him.

  12. jane on March 7, 2015 at 19:17

    I set aside a place upstairs where I can look outside across the snow now”there read a psalm and also NT reading. Then I sit silently to get closer to God. In summer also l like praying outdoors.
    I find God n the beauty of Sunsets too.

  13. Ed Covington on March 7, 2015 at 17:41

    I find God in the ordinary every day, the beautiful blue sky and white clouds. how could that scene be anything but Gods work. The colorful trees and plant life.

  14. Susan Zimmerman on March 7, 2015 at 16:40

    …in all the Absolutes of nature and in people via Holy Spirit

  15. Fred on March 7, 2015 at 14:28

    In the sun appearing and melting the snow and ice away.

  16. Judy on March 7, 2015 at 12:29

    On bright sunny days God is everywhere… on my lips and in my mind… out in nature and with me as I clean up or cook. When drear is upon I’m not so much aware and don’t remember to give praise and thanksgiving.

  17. Pat on March 7, 2015 at 12:22

    I find prayer every time I look at the water that surrounds Cape Ann

  18. Judy on March 7, 2015 at 10:54

    I find God in the ordinary activities of everyday life: my favorite song on the radio at a moment when I’m feeling a little down; an unexpected kindness from a stranger; the opportunity to show kindness to someone who looks like they could use it; a parking space when I’m running late; a beautiful sky; 30 seconds on a day I’m not looking forward to just to stand outside and feel the sun on my face. All of these things remind me that God is still very much present in the world, and in me.

  19. Emily on March 6, 2015 at 11:30

    Prayer as a favored way of communing with God come to me in the form of celebrating his creation all around us, in communicating the difficult and remembering the postives, in quiet and in chaos. Prayer draws me near to Him, reminds me to respect the “here” in each moment, and lets me see and hear the blessings of the Lord.

  20. shawn on March 6, 2015 at 09:11

    Grace. Thank you for reminding and reinforcing me to Wait upon the Lord. Thank you for a structure to lead me to my Heart on a daily basis. My Heart has been choked lately with anxiety and I Wait for Grace.

  21. Kimber on March 5, 2015 at 16:42

    I find God in my relationship with my cat, Miss Sassafras T. LaCort. My husband and I adopted her from our local animal shelter about two months ago. She has made a very good transition to being part of our family and household. I especially like it when she jumps up on my bed in the morning and wants to be loved. All I have to do is talk to her, scratch her chin and ears, touch her pink nose, and pet her back to feel that God is present and that “all manner of things shall be well.” (Julian of Norwich)

  22. John Maufe on March 5, 2015 at 13:05

    Through music and other people.

  23. Helen Chandler on March 5, 2015 at 07:46

    I find God in the everyday especially when I act “on instinct”. Recently I “happened” to look out of the window one evening (having left the curtains open by chance) and saw someone walking along the sidewalk. I was moved to open the front door to ask if they were OK – I had the sense they were looking for something. The person was not in a good space and needed assistance which my husband and I were able to provide.

    So many “coincidences” turn out to be “God-instances”. Prayer for me is as much an open mind, ready to listen, as it is talking to God. When I engage in a conversation, I am talking “with” God and I never know when God will “say” the next installment.

  24. Susan on March 4, 2015 at 13:50

    When I’m walking my dog, on the beach, in the woods, her joy at freedom and play – the immediacy of her experience, the laughter she brings and the beauty of nature. This is prayer.

  25. Tom on March 3, 2015 at 09:06

    It seems easy and natural for me to pray during quiet moments, when I am somehow touched by another being, human or animal. It may be to simply thank God for the presence of this being, or to ask God to provide whatever assistance is appropriate.

  26. Susan Ohannesian on March 3, 2015 at 03:41

    I find myself often moved to prayer while riding my bicycle. I live in Vancouver, BC so I can cycle almost all year round and sometimes my prayers are for safety, or thanksgiving for the beauty of creation or for others who come to my mind. Years ago I read a couple of books The Way of a Pilgrim and The Practise of the Presence of God which talk of praying without ceasing and seeing God in all things.

  27. Susan Zimmerman on March 2, 2015 at 20:35

    ….anything in the finite that shows something of the Infinite Nature of God…w/numbers; how many 1+1+1 can be written?…infinite? …how many ‘beautiful’ things have been seen in this world?…beauty something of the infinite? Music?…how many sounds are there? Love….how many experiences…love of tacos?(agape, philios, eros)? …there’s a tough one love of tacos? Law…apriori in all of us? Daytime/Night ‘time’ taken for granted? The Infinite ‘Nature’ of God can be experienced all around us. God, via Spirit, is ‘in’ all of us; hence a direct experience?

  28. richard on March 2, 2015 at 17:36

    I often find God when I am driving alone. When I go by a home where someone I know is in need, I pray. When I go by a place where someone who has died used to work, I remember and I pray. When I come to a beautiful scene, I give thanks and rejoice. There is something about driving which seems to free up my mind. I think it goes back to my years in Eastern Oregon when I could drive 70 miles and not see more than 3 or 4 cars. Lots of quietness.

  29. Linden Sheffield on March 2, 2015 at 14:51

    I find God in so many ordinary places – He will pop into my mind when I’m driving and pass a field dotted with poppies, when I see early mist on the ground with leafless trees showing through, silhouetted on the horizon, baby lambs gambolling around, when someone shows a small act of kindness such as holding a door open and smiling. For me, He is everywhere, all around, all the time. And I feel incredibly blessed to know this and to see it.

  30. David Cranmer on March 2, 2015 at 10:57

    I find God in nature, as I go for walks (weather permitting). I also find God and am drawn to prayer as words and events come into my consciousness, either through memory or because they are happening around me. And I am grateful for this, as I desire to maintain conscious contact with God throughout my day.

  31. Lissa Davis on March 2, 2015 at 10:40

    All my human senses know and recognize His Presence. The beauty of nature, the sound of birds, the smell of pine, petting my dog, a long drink of cold, fresh well water.

  32. tambria lee on March 2, 2015 at 09:54

    I find God in the ” changes and chances of this life” where I am forced to acknowledge my dependence on God alone . February has been a particularly grueling month in our parish and local community. The senseless murders of three young Muslim students , the deaths of many in our pews through accident or illness , the unexpected and grave diagnosis of the same all come to mind. Then there has been the rise in mental illness and addictive behavior often seen in winter months. We have also had a glorious past two weeks of winter weather which has been beautiful, and all the more so because of it happens so rarely in these parts. It has shut down infrastructure and commerce everywhere. While amazing to me in the comfort of my home with its filled pantry ,crackling fireplace, and electricity on demand it raises all kinds of issues for the poor among us. Do they have adequate shelter? Has their electricity been shut off ? How will they feed their children who are home from school and no longer able to get free breakfast and lunch or the groceries sent home with them on Fridays so they can eat on the weekends? All of this is running through my head and heart as I sip that first cup of coffee and watch the sun rise. I am praying for wisdom to see the day as God see’s it and then have both the energy , the will, the desire , the grace to do what I can do to be part of God’s heart and intention in this world he so fiercely loves.

    • Louise Howlett on March 2, 2015 at 16:57

      I appreciate your ability to see or hope God’s presence in both the tragic and the beautiful…

  33. Leslie on March 2, 2015 at 09:09

    I was very glad to see the brother talk about prayer in this way. I have always believed the same to be true – that prayer doesn’t have to take place on our knees, or chanted, or in a formal ‘quiet time.’ Instead, for me, it is finding God everywhere and acknowledging God in those moments. I believe work is also prayer. I believe singing is also prayer. I believe bringing others to mind and their situations is also prayer. All of these are ordinary, daily occurrences. God is everywhere and therefore prayer can be too.

  34. Trish on March 2, 2015 at 08:12

    Everyday and every season there is something or someone to behold.

    In the friend who needs someone to just listen.
    In the loving eyes of my dogs and their sheer joy when they go out and play and romp in the snow.
    In the Spring when all of creation awakes from the winter hibernation. New flowers coming up out of the ground or planted, trees blooming, birds singing.
    In the Summer with a slight breeze blows, during a thunderstorm, a farmers prayer answered from rains to water his crops.
    In the Fall with the changing of the leaves and cooler weather.
    In the Winter the excitement of the first snow and by March 1st when it snows again we remind ourselves that we are ready for Spring to begin.

  35. Lanie on March 2, 2015 at 08:11

    I loved this reflection by Br. Robert. I listened to it as I sat on the floor next to my senior dog. Throughout the message I could her my dog breathing and enjoying a good sleep. Being with my dog and acknowledging the gift she is to me was my prayer.

  36. Terri on March 2, 2015 at 07:39

    I find God everywhere. I oftentimes see something beautiful and say a little thanksgiving prayer or I just found out one of my friends is sick and I will stop to say a little prayer.

  37. Lisa on March 2, 2015 at 07:25

    Intentionality and awareness – two very important concepts that make finding God in the ordinary very possible. When I am aware – present to my world right then and there – and intentional about finding the presence of God, the Holy – I am surrounded by all that is Holy. It is all too easy to be consumed by my thoughts about work, family, problem solving, overthinking.

  38. Deb on March 2, 2015 at 04:10

    In my grandsons our dog even coworkers

  39. Elizabeth S. on March 2, 2015 at 01:26

    Where do you find God in the ordinary?
    When I say my gratitude list out loud, I am especially aware of God’s presence. Most often these days this happens on the walk back from seeing my children off to the school bus. There is so much to be grateful for it’s overwhelming. And that’s what God feels like to me in that moment.

  40. beth on March 1, 2015 at 23:47

    I find God in Nature and in any words/deeds that demonstrate kindness.

  41. J.A. on March 1, 2015 at 23:00

    I read once that prayer is the “practice of the presence of God”. Today we heard that we can practice prayer if we practice awareness of the presence (God’s presence) that is with us and around us always. And that prayer can happen anywhere, anytime when we put intentionality behind it.

    Yes, I can find God in the beauty of his creation, or a magnificent piece of music created by the talent he created in a musician. I can find God in the goodness and kindness of others. But these things are not God. They are his creation, characteristics, fruit….

    I can find God in the ordinary whenever I turn my thoughts and attention toward him in any circumstance. Music, nature, love can all help incline my thoughts and attention his way, but it is in the tuning into God’s presence that I become aware that he has been right along my side the entire time.

    Sort of like an Escher print – when I look intently, another image comes into focus and I can see what was always there.

    Be still and know that I am God…

  42. Denise on March 1, 2015 at 22:35

    I find God in the sunrise and the sunset. In the snowfall and rainfall. In the faces of the deer that visit our home. In the sounds of the birdsongs. In rainbows and storms. In all the earth’s beauty!

  43. Annmarie on March 1, 2015 at 22:32

    When I am with my beautiful grandchildren….I realize how blessed I am to have them..they make me so happy.

  44. mspepper on March 1, 2015 at 21:43

    Occasionally I live at the level of grandeur, but most of the time, I live in the ordinary. I find it not only comforting, but also exciting, to think the ordinary is where I meet and serve Jesus. He is always with me in the ordinary life that I live. Day by day I give thanks for his grace and love……

  45. Didi on March 1, 2015 at 20:26

    I find God in my 3-legged cat Festus, who is so grateful to have a home, and to be loved. He inspires me to be grateful also. I pray in gratitude to God when I see the sunrise, or the blue sky, the love of my family and friends; I also pray through humming hymns all day long – it centers me and reminds me that there is a God, and I am not her.

  46. Kathy B on March 1, 2015 at 19:38

    In anything that contributes to my contentment – that’s where I find God. In anything that distracts me from my way of thinking – that’s where I find God, also. In anything of beauty, which could be a bright color in the midst of dark, or the flash of a smile, a tiny leaf, or a bold bird – that’s where I find him. God’s always there, its just that I’m often so busy that I forget to look.

  47. Kara on March 1, 2015 at 19:33

    Through all that eyes and ears see and hear…the touch of a hand…the hug of a loved one…a tear…rocks and hills…valleys and trees…laughter and the blossoming flower… It blesses me so…

  48. Christine white on March 1, 2015 at 19:25

    Every where

  49. Joyce on March 1, 2015 at 19:10

    Sometimes I stop singing during the liturgy at church and silently allow myself to float on the gentle breeze of Spirit that is flowing around and through me. It becomes a “thin place” where the separation between me and the Divine seems to dissolve.

    • Michael on March 2, 2015 at 07:09

      Very nice

  50. Karen on March 1, 2015 at 19:04

    I find God when someone just happens to say or do the exact right thing to help someone else. I find God in the excitement and wagging tails of my dogs when I come home. I find God in music that I find beautiful and cathartic.

  51. Michael on March 1, 2015 at 19:01

    We are fortunate because, if for one reason or another, we can not find God in the ordinary or any where else, he has already found us

    • Louise on March 1, 2015 at 22:50

      Such an important revelation. It is God’s nature to seek and to save us. Even when I feel lost I know that He is keeping the covenant between us safe and secure.

  52. Julie E on March 1, 2015 at 18:52

    I’ve recently become in tune with the fact that every time I stop and breath and just am, that I am present and present with God.

  53. Nicki on March 1, 2015 at 18:04

    Everywhere – in alert responses to my voice, from children, my peers, unknown people whom I acknowledge, my cats, my daughter’s horses, all trees and plants in the spring. It’s the awe that I experience at the complexity that God is such an artist in creating. We’re all created innocent of the disturbed natures that we may slip into while coping with what comes along. Provided that we hear God’s message, we always have a chance to heal and return to our good, awesome selves and work with and for God in whole-self-felt gratitude to God.
    I’m tired after a long day of driving and visiting with wonderful family members, so I’m barely touching the surface of this question. It’s one of my favorites and so very important.

  54. Kenneth Knapp on March 1, 2015 at 17:43

    I am spending a lot more time in the kitchen since retiring so I suppose that I have a little bit of ‘Brother Lawrence” thing going right now.

  55. gwedhen nicholas on March 1, 2015 at 17:06

    I find God in everything. I do not believe that there is a divide between the sacred and the secular. Everything that God made is holy. Then within us too there is no dichotomy between spirit, mind and body. Our entire being was given to us by God. Everything we do, say and think is from God if we live intentionally and are aware of His gracious Presence being with us.

  56. Mark on March 1, 2015 at 16:54

    Everywhere and in everything especially in those quiet moments

  57. Jennifer on March 1, 2015 at 16:40

    This reminds me of the Brother Lawrence book, “The Practice of the Presence of God”

  58. Cheryll McGehee on March 1, 2015 at 16:36

    Everywhere….BUT you have to be listening and open, aware, thinking…

  59. Sophfronia on March 1, 2015 at 15:42

    Where do I find God in the ordinary? I hear Him in the quiet of the snowflakes falling in a fresh new winter storm. And I hear Him in the wind whispering in the branches of the trees behind my house. He is like that, always present to me, in the very ordinary space of my heart and of my mind.

    • gwedhen nicholas on March 1, 2015 at 17:09


  60. Susan baxter on March 1, 2015 at 15:21

    yesterday it was raining, and I was in the barn cleaning stalls and brushing one of the horses. I closed my eyes and listened to my heart, the horse, and my gratefulness – I thanked God for being so present with me at that moment,
    He is with us all the time if we listen….

  61. Wayne on March 1, 2015 at 14:32

    God comes to me through my friends…everyday with a touch, a smile, a word, a shared thought, or most of all the gift of love

  62. Sue on March 1, 2015 at 13:58

    For some years I could not find God in the ordinary. It seemed that God was so extraordinary that God could be experienced only rarely. Somewhere that changed as I realized that God is in everything that God created, especially God’s ordinary human creations like me.

  63. Norm Anderson on March 1, 2015 at 13:18

    I find God in the everyday, the mundane, the presence of a good chore-bringing in wood on a daily basis to burn, to warm our bodies and our house. The ordinary is actually extra-ordinary in many ways. The slow deliberance of a motion of peace, invitation or expectation has all the ingredients of a recipe of God’s reflection and Love.

  64. Dee Dee on March 1, 2015 at 12:50

    Train whistles, birds singing, the moon and the stars, sunset, certain times on the clock, a pair of hawks — God speaks to me and inspires me to, invites me into, prayer through all of these “ordinary” experiences and more.

  65. Randy Ruffin on March 1, 2015 at 12:13

    I find that certain people in my life are connected with certain activities. For example, the wonderful family who ran the camp I went to as a child come to mind when I change sheets (I learned to make a “proper” bed with hospital corners at camp) and I lift them in prayer. My minister and his wife, for reasons unknown, come to mind when I’m peeling vegetables, and I lift them in prayer. I will say a thank you when I see a beautiful sunset driving west towards the mountains and our home, and for a phone call from one of our adult kids – and for the fact that they are so open about their lives with us. A child in our church has had very serious surgery in the past couple of weeks and, as she comes to mind, I lift her and her familyl in prayer. I’ve also been known to pray for parking places and to offer thanks when finding one! – or after a narrow miss in traffic! And, of course, there’s the dog!

  66. Carole on March 1, 2015 at 11:58

    In nature, birds, flowers, the ocean, grass, trees and in friends

  67. Mary Ann on March 1, 2015 at 11:32

    Thank you Brother Robert and to everyone for your thoughts. More and more I feel akin to Paul and his statement “to pray unceasingly, and if necessary to use words”. I do feel that in everyone we encounter and in everything we see that we have that sense of prayerful communication. What a blessing!

  68. Charlotte Williams on March 1, 2015 at 11:10

    It would be wonderful to always be in and be aware of the Divine Presence. It sounds impossible but God can make the impossible possible.

  69. Gail on March 1, 2015 at 10:54

    In nature, in the presence of animals. Sadly, I have to consciously remind myself that I experience God in the presence of another human being… a failing.

  70. Woodie on March 1, 2015 at 10:25

    Talking with my adult kids, playing with my little grandson.

  71. Greg on March 1, 2015 at 09:59

    The Brother has beautifully expressed what I see & do frequently, as prayer – an awareness of Divine Presence.
    Many days I am blessed to have this triggered by almost anything, positive or negative. From enjoying the beauty of the eary morning or sunrise or appreciating people I meet, to some annoying or negative thing, which (when I am at my best) reminds me to recognize the divine – that even the outwardly negative experiences are just guides to look to the reality of the Divine Presence in and around me.

  72. Rev Tom Calhoun on March 1, 2015 at 09:57

    I have long seen prayer in the way that Br. Robert describes. Our goal is to “be” the prayer. In the course of a typical day, we interact so often with the poor, the sick, the homeless, and all those feeling desperately in need of God’s intervention. We feel the need to take time for each of these souls, but the time is too little and our needs are too many. By “living prayer,” we can enrich our lives and the lives of others through God’s love and intervention, which is unceasing.

  73. Melinda on March 1, 2015 at 09:36

    Brother Robert, and everyone else who has posted up to this point captured the essence of continuous prayer – mindfulness of God’s spirit in all. Yesterday’s page in the Lenten booklet (Episcopal Relief/Dev) contained a photo of a dark brown man whose smiling, lined face struck me as beautiful. The spirit of God was displayed in his countenance….lovely.

  74. Judy on March 1, 2015 at 09:18

    Thank you, Brother Robert for reminding me of the opportunities I have to pray during a busy day, and to be present to them.

    I too find God in nature, and I want to become more present so as to find God “in the streets of Philadelphia” as Dean wrote above. In traffic, waiting in line at a crowded grocery store, or at the airport, with people I may not like so much, etc.

  75. ros on March 1, 2015 at 09:13

    I just wanted to note that I find _everything_ extraordinary. It makes for a rather tiring life….. And I find god whenever I stop to remember, since the see-able universe is (in my personal understanding) the body of christ.

  76. Verlinda on March 1, 2015 at 09:08

    I find God in the beauty of the world around me–the flowers in my garden (that budded out a litle too soon in February); the cuddling, headbutts and furry friendship of my cats; the joy of opening a card or note in the mail that’s meant for me, hand-written by a friend.

    I also find God in the everyday warp and woof of life–I’ve often said that doing the dishes or taking a shower is where some of my best thinking is done–coincidence that both involve water?

    God is everywhere–and I find my days and nights more blessed if I keep that in mind.

  77. John David Spangler on March 1, 2015 at 09:04

    The late Bishop of the Diocese of Southern Virginia, The Right Revd. Frank Vest, wisely observed “Thought is prayer.”.

  78. Deborah on March 1, 2015 at 08:58

    As a writer and photographer, I have a heightened visual awareness and see God often in the ordinary. For me, the mundane transforms into the extraordinary.

    I might be walking downtown on an errand, but suddenly I will notice something, be drawn to an image and stop to look. Then I will be compelled to pull my camera out of my pocket and focus on what is delighting my eye. Stopping to linger, look and capture brings me into a place of wonder, into the place where I am aware of creation and participate in it. The Spirit moves me to frame and compose images, to freeze moments in time, to preserve them so that I and others can look at them over and over again today and many years hence.

    I like to share images that are particularly powerful, hoping that others will be touched as I was touched. That they will stop to look and the image will communicate 1,000 or more words, that it will touch a place in their core like it did mine. And I don’t just mean pretty sunrises or sunsets, although I photograph those too. This week I “froze” images of the mighty frozen Hudson River, a village skyline, the shape of a curving road, snow covered steps at the train depot, sleeping dogs, playing dogs. I even photographed a prison (the infamous Sing Sing). I was fascinated by its watch tower and the sharp, curled wire at the top of the high prison walls contrasted against a blue, blue sky with a wisp of clouds. I have photographed people on the subway (photography involves risk), people I encounter while walking down the street — many, many photos of people’s faces, the valley from the top of the mountain trail, urban scenes, architecture, the beach. I see and feel God when I stop to look, to really look. God is always there, but it is when we STOP that we become aware — or more aware — of God’s presence. I see a connection to our meditations on STOP last week.

    I find God in community, in the work of people to enrich and improve their community. We continually hear reports of horrendous things happening near and far. I am fortunate to write about GOOD NEWS. To write stories that uplift and encourage people. Over the decades, I have met hundreds of dedicated people, both through my work as a community activist and as a freelance journalist.

    People rarely take time for real conversation these days, they are always looking at their phones instead of a person’s eyes and they are continually moving, too rushed to linger in conversation. This changes when someone is being interviewed for an article! They want publicity and I want to listen — it’s a win-win. I offer them the gift to talk about themselves, to share what motivates them, why they have a passion for what they do. It is deeply satisfying to make a meaningful connection with so many people. I am uplifted by their stories, their openness and willingness to share. It is an intense experience, one in which I feel awed and acutely see and feel the presence of God.

    Peace + Blessed Sabbath

    • Joyce on March 1, 2015 at 19:00

      Beautiful! Thanks so much for your lovely essay.

  79. Margo on March 1, 2015 at 08:49

    Overly simplistic as it may sound, when I heighten my senses and my mindfulness, God finds me. He finds me through what I feel, what I hear, what I see, and what I do.

  80. Susan on March 1, 2015 at 08:31

    among the trees I pass on my daily commute and in those tiny discretionary moments when I turn one way instead of another as a way of accepting guidance and grace

    • Cheryll McGehee on March 1, 2015 at 16:43


  81. Danielle on March 1, 2015 at 08:21

    Often we are so busy and outwardly focused that prayer falls onto the back burner, or is treated as a luxury we withold from ourselves. Prayer can be spontaneous though and at my busiest I often find myself praying in gratitude for the beauty of well spoken words. Or the way a piece of plastic floats up before me and rests on the winds waiting until I can easily reach out and grab it. These moments don’t just happen in nature or church, the are mundane and yet infused with the divine. So many opportunities to “pray without ceasing”! That too is a gift, to be able to slip into the river of life and offer up these prayers for a moment or two.

  82. Karen on March 1, 2015 at 07:58

    I find God especially in nature. I take walks each morning and evening to pray, as I feel closer to God then.

  83. Virginia Brooks on March 1, 2015 at 07:47

    Because of all the snow here, I have been walking to work each morning. I find that because of this series, which I have just viewed at home before I head out, I am much more aware of everything I see and hear on my trek to work, and it has become a walk of prayer and meditation. Most of my prayers are of thanksgiving – for the puffed up butterball birds chirping away or pecking at seeds, the beauty of the sun on the snow, the lilting conversations of couples I pass, a newly uncovered blue mitten. I find my attitude and my days are so much better as a result. Thank you!

  84. Cameron Coley on March 1, 2015 at 07:40

    While being in the company of my cat, Lyric. He helps me realize I am not alone. I liked the othet postings about gratitude. I try to incorporate these too into my presentness.

  85. Ann Brackin on March 1, 2015 at 07:38

    In a child’s laughter, anyone’s smile, all the outdoors.

  86. Ralph on March 1, 2015 at 07:35

    He is all around me and fills me. In everything I encounter. In every thought that centers me. For in Him I move and breath and have my very being. His presence completely overwhelms me, always. It is only my imperfect awareness that filters out this reality.

    • Cheryll McGehee on March 1, 2015 at 16:42


  87. Dean on March 1, 2015 at 07:30

    On the streets of Philadelphia.

  88. Agatha Nolen on March 1, 2015 at 07:16

    For me it is through relationships, photography, music, art and nature, particularly animals. I’m reminded each time to give thanks to God through prayer.

  89. Linda H. on March 1, 2015 at 07:03

    Nature is always my first response: the ocean, flower, sunsets. Mainly because of the beauty, complexity, and interrelatedness of life on this planet. And I also find God working in my life in the ordinary little day to day things that happen. And this morning when asked this question, I could see a playful energetic God in my dog, Brady.

    • Deborah on March 1, 2015 at 07:58

      Yay Brady! Dog spelled backwards is God!

      • Cheryll McGehee on March 1, 2015 at 16:40


    • Mary Frost on March 1, 2015 at 08:07

      Sometimes I look into his eyes and wonder who really is in there….

      • Cheryll McGehee on March 1, 2015 at 16:41

        Yes, the wonder of animals

  90. Kathleen on March 1, 2015 at 06:56

    Spontaneously, I often find myself aware of the presence in my young children, in the last rays of sunlight coming through my front windows, in my garden in the spring, and in certain moments during Sunday morning worship. I sometimes while cooking invoke the presence of all those who made the meal possible. The farmers and pickers and packers that grew the vegetables, the people who work at the grocery store, the people who made the knife (made in China) and shepherded it from there to here, the people who made the cutting board (bought at the Maine State Prison store), the people who made the dishes (made in the 1930s) and the three generation of my husband’s family who owned them, and on. I thank them and thank God for them. It helps me feel a sense of gratitude for even the mundane things in my life and helps me have a sense of connectedness.

    • Cheryll McGehee on March 1, 2015 at 16:40


  91. Christopher Engle Barnhart on March 1, 2015 at 06:54

    Every Friday our church as well as several other churches gather to feed and clothe the homeless at a location where the Hope Van (a mobile medical vehicle that provide free medical, dental, and mental health services to the homeless population).. We prepare soup, sandwiches, hot meals, fruit, hardboiled eggs, and caserolles for those less fortunate than ourselves. We are into our fifth year doing this service for the homeless, the ordinary. In those years, we have from 2 churches to 6 churches providing these services. Many of the ordinary people thank us for these gifts from God.

  92. Nancy W. Del Borgo on March 1, 2015 at 06:32

    I have learned that there are many ways to pray beyond the rote prayers I learned as a child and still recite. “Bullet” prayers happen often: a thank you to God for anything and everything.

    • Mimi on March 1, 2015 at 13:55

      I love the idea of “bullet prayers” – thank you for that!

      • Cheryll McGehee on March 1, 2015 at 16:39


  93. Christopher Epting on March 1, 2015 at 06:18

    As trite as it sounds, I often experience God during dawn walks with my dog … in the quiet of early morning and all of nature waking to a new day.

    • Deborah on March 1, 2015 at 07:56

      Not trite at all. What a beautiful image you paint of walking your dog as the sunrises on a new day.

    • Mary Frost on March 1, 2015 at 08:07

      I agree…aren’t we lucky.

    • Virginia on March 7, 2015 at 13:29

      I also find God in my early morning walk with my dog. My mind is cleared and the beauty comes rushing in to bolster me up for the rest of my day.
      My dog loves it too!!

  94. bob on March 1, 2015 at 04:21

    In interactions of caring, or in the pure fun of children playing.

    • Walter Edgar on March 1, 2015 at 09:26

      my garden–in all seasons. despite two waves a temperatures in the teens, the paperwhites are blooming and there are new buds on the camellias [their third effort this year]. Soon I will plant seeds–as my grandfather taught me–and watch the miracle of the sprouts evolve into our summer cut-flower garden

      • Margie on March 1, 2015 at 15:02

        in the chocolate in my coffee,
        in the sound of children’s laughter,
        in the music heard during a long-overdue visit with friends, in my dog’s loyal companionship, in the man who cleared the snow from the church parking lot, in the grace of friends who offer acceptance, love and joy

    • Mary Ann Ryan on March 1, 2015 at 17:11

      I attended a retreat yesterday on the topic of Holy Seeing. As we explored the possibilities of seeing God’s presence throughout our lives, I realized that beyond human encounters I regularly feel God’s presence in nature.

    • Lera Tyler on March 1, 2015 at 21:08

      In the hooting of the great horned owl throughout the winter nights.

Leave a Reply Cancel Reply