Everyday Holiness

Written by Gwen Lantz

I’ve been once again struck by the intersection of holiness and everyday life. It seems to me that the world around us is chock-full of this intersection. Recently a beautiful snow coated the Shenandoah Valley. This is a rather ordinary event in everyday life, yet is so full of beauty that it is hard to describe or capture. To me it seems that God’s holiness and creativity is simmering under the surface in the everyday world around us, all the time.

photo by the author

Twice this week stories from Jesus’ life brought this idea to the forefront. First was the story about Jesus calming the storm as he and his disciples traveled by boat from one side of the Sea of Galilee to the other. Jesus was tired from teaching (which is such a normal, everyday, human thing), and he fell asleep on the boat. Later his disciples woke him, dismayed that he is not helping to bail out the boat, and afraid they would all drown in a sudden storm. Jesus spoke to the storm and the water became as still as glass. Everyday humdrum tiredness, a sudden storm, and then the amazing and miraculous intervention of Jesus.

The other story that stuck me was Jesus turning water into wine. Ordinary water turned into an abundant quantity of the best wine. While the first miracle I mentioned was in a more life-and-death situation, the water turned to wine reminds us that God cares about our ordinary life situations. As Rachel Held Evans wrote beautifully in her book Searching for Sunday, “. . .we have such a hard time believing that God cares about our routine realities, that God’s glory resides in the stuff of everyday life, just waiting to be seen.” But of course, that is how God works. Through ordinary snowfalls, everyday people, and through our humdrum lives. The water to wine miracle also reminds me that not only does God care, but God’s outcomes are abundant. I do believe that God’s simmering creativity is present in the world around us. I just need to turn—or pause—and take notice. From the intricate beauty of how our bodies are knit together to the rhythm of each new day and year, God’s creative provision is evident in the everyday world around us.

everyday chickens at my sister’s farm

How have you experienced a break-through of God’s simmering creativity in your own life? Was it unexpected or the fulfillment of a long-held dream?

Grant me eyes to see your creativity in the stories from long ago and from today. Give me a heart that accepts your abundant gifts with gratitude. AMEN

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