Do you not realize that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?  Romans 2:4

I’m reading Susan Howatch’s Starbridge novels, set in the U.K. against the backdrop of Salisbury Cathedral – the fictional Starbridge – and the Anglican Church. Every protagonist undergoes a psycho-spiritual crisis, then embarks on a journey to wholeness. The author herself had found worldly success, but felt spiritually empty. Her messages are that we are all flawed and vulnerable, and often subjected to difficult external circumstances, but help is close by. Today’s scriptures emphasize the self that appears to be separated from God, but can return to wholeness. God ceaselessly calls us to return to His magnificent and all-embracing love. “Do you not realize that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” Romans 2:4

While we can never truly be separated, we are often distracted from our connection to God. There is just so…much…to do. But we can pause, and call on the Holy Spirit to guide us back to the God who abides within us, our true center. We can place any troubling or overwhelming situation at the foot of the cross. One friend described her “God box,” a wooden box with a latch, in which to place prayers about disturbing situations large and small. After closing the box, she has surrendered it to God, which stops her swirling anxiety. We can feel God as closer than our own hearts when we set aside sacred space. We can also “pray without ceasing,” during our busy lives. And when we are hurt, and do not have the strength to forgive, we can turn it over to the One who forgives us all. The Holy Spirit will not delay in answering us.

Beloved Holy Spirit, remind of us of our center in God. Comfort us in our distress, and remind us to take courage for you have conquered the world. Return, and keep returning our hearts to you, every moment of every day.

 Psalm 72, Psalm 119:73-96; Jeremiah 3:6-18; Romans 1:28—2:11; John 5:1-18