Do I really have the permission to call the world around me my canvas? Do I have the freedom, the audacity, the creativity, and the imagination to wade in and create on that canvas? Or am I nothing more than a detached observer? [Paul Richardson, A Certain Risk, p. 109]
During my first read through of this book I wrote a simple “Wow!” in the left margin of the book. We’ve been taught so often in our own cultural that to seek God is to seek solitude, peaceful settings, and quiet time. These are all good things. But I wonder, too, if sometimes we lose sight of the fact that we also meet with God in a very real way when we are sweeping across the canvas of our community and our city; that in our interactions with people we not only find ourselves thinking about God, but we begin to commune with him on a deeper level by actually walking with him.
Maybe it’s rolling down the window, smiling at the old woman asking for money, and letting her know that at least one person on this day is happy to have seen her. Maybe it’s spending time downtown, taking part in the community as so many others are—not as an outsider (though I always am one) but rather as another child of our Creator enjoying the opportunity to enjoy a small part of the day. Maybe it’s encouraging a brother or sister in faith, or praying for a friend in need, or allowing God to speak through me a word that another needs to hear in that moment.