One thing about church buildings is that they demand a lot of attention – and I wish it was just of the TLC kind!
Over the past 18 months at St. Mary’s in Largs, we’ve had to call in roofers to deal with numerous water ingress problems. Just when I thought we had it all sorted, I discovered a few more leaks during the heavy rains of these past couple of weeks. You always wonder, “where’s that coming from?” and “how did that get in?”
People can at times try very hard to keep God out of their lives or of some aspect of their lives. The notions of privacy and of personal space around today can lead some to believe that a “no entry” sign also applies to God. Others think that their rejection of God’s existence actually means that he does not exist.
I can believe all I like that there is no rain. When it leaks into my church, I would like to pretend it’s not there. But make-believe doesn’t change reality. The reality is that God is more pervasive than water. He is more persistent than heavy rain. He permeates everything we are and have. But, unlike the rainwater seeping into a building, God does not come to cause trouble or to damage. He comes to give life, to direct, to heal, to render fertile the barren dryness of the wounded and lonely heart.
The thing is that, no matter how much we deny or ignore him, he never gives up. Like the rain, he always finds another way in. His coming will never be harsh or judgmental. It will never presume. God is more respectful of our dignity than we are ourselves. He gave it to us in the first place. Like a doting lover, however, he can’t help himself from sending signals, making waves and doing anything he can to get our attention and our love.
Psalm 139 from the Bible describes beautifully this closeness of God to each of us: “O Lord, you search me and you know me. All my ways lie open to you. It was you who created my being. I thank you for the wonder of my being, for the wonders of all your creation. O search me, God, and know my heart. See that I follow not the wrong path and lead me in the path of life eternal.”
(First published in the 9th November 2022 edition of the Largs and Millport Weekly News)