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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Wednesday, July 09, 2003
    Space in which God can act
     
    Though I'd insisted on making a time for the woman to come and make her confession, and though I knew that she really wanted to do something along those lines, it didn't surprise me when she failed to show. So very far from the church, such a terrifying prospect for her, walking through those doors, she evidently couldn't bring herself to do it when the time came.

    But it wasn't wasted time. I lit candles for her and (echoing Leunig) for all "the lost, the confused, the unsure, the bewildered, the puzzled, the mystified, the baffled and the perplexed". For me, one of those. And as those candles flickered I sat down in a cool calm church with Soul Shaper, and some words of Henri Nouwen emerged to summarise the significance of this quiet hour:
      In the spiritual life, the word 'discipline' means "the effort to create some space in which God can act."
    The meeting never took place. But we'd created the space. And so I knew, wherever she was, that woman, and I, in that hour, had invited God to act.