The small and insignificant places

By Dave Henning / August 22, 2022

“To be faithful Christians, we have to be like Christ Jesus.  And to be like Christ Jesus we have to run into, not away from, the small and insignificant places like Nazareth.”- Daniel Grothe

“The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.”- John 1:14 (MSG)

“Beauty and grace are performed whether or not we . . . sense them.  The least we can do is try to be there.”- Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

In Chapter 7 (“Honoring Your Presence: Everywhere You Are Is Sacred”) of The Power of Place, Daniel Grothe talks about renowned wordsmith and author Annie Dillard.  An avid reader, no one seemed to be writing the kind of book Annie was looking for.  As a result, Annie, at the age of twenty-nine, wrote her first book, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.  And the next year her book won the Pulitzer Prize.

However, it shocked people when they discovered that Annie wrote the book while sitting next to a creek.  A creek in the middle of the bustling suburb of Roanoke, VA.  Hence, Annie grounded the book in the actual conditions of everyday life.

Thus, Annie Dillard possessed the remarkable capacity to envision the suburban streets of Roanoke as a mythical realm.  So, Pastor Grothe asks, will we do the same for our places?  Will we work hard to transform our humdrum neighborhoods into holy ground?

In conclusion, Daniel exhorts, show up as a missionary of mercy and kindness in our hurting world.  And as you work with eyes wide open to what’s going on in the invisible realm of the Spirit, live a life of prayer and probing curiosity.  Finally, Pastor Grothe encourages:

“Everywhere you are is sacred.  And if you will be there, living with holy wakefulness in a world that is ‘constantly being created’ by the Spirit, paying attention to the invisible mysteries, and looking for the hidden beauty, your little section of the world will be saved!”

Today’s question: How do you run into the small and insignificant places in your world?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “A vast concert hall – the world”

About the author

Dave Henning

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