Watching (by Helen Paterson)

I have a strong memory of a specific place in my primary school where I met God. I guess I was about 9 years old.  I think I had been asking God to reveal himself to me, and then, just in a moment as I walked through the main door off the playground and past the cloakrooms, I knew he was there and it became a holy experience. A significant moment. That ‘otherness’ and transcendence that comes from knowing the presence of God. I have never forgotten it.

From time to time I ask my children ‘where did you see God today?’ I think it is a great question to reflect on. A great prayer at the start of the day to say ‘God, reveal yourself to me today.’ In the chaos of getting children out to school, the mundanity of the endless tidying up, the joy of tasks I am inspired to do, and the challenge of those I will leave to the end, where is God in it all?

The first time I asked my children this question, I wasn’t really expecting them to know how to answer. I was putting the vocabulary out there to set expectations for another day. But of course they surprised me. Turns out, they see God much more readily than I do. ‘In the beautiful sky, mum’; ‘helping me write my story’; ‘in my favourite verse about soaring and eagles’.

We can be sure that God longs to reveal himself to us. He sent his Son to earth for that very purpose. This week, let’s look for Him. 

‘Draw near to God and He will draw near to you’ (James 4v8).

Helen is the Family Director for the Stewards' Trust. Prior to that, she was a host of a family houseparty, a leader of children's groups and even longer ago she helped lead youth and students. She's a great addition to the team and we're not just saying that because she bakes a decent brownie!