My favourite chapter in Curating Worship was 'stumbling into something lovely' by Cheryl Lawrie. It caught my imagination and I've been pondering it since. Anyway, I had a moment last week where I stumbled into something quite lovely and totally unexpected! It was the creativity of a person working in a particular context and within that context creating contextual expressions of prayer.
Every so often I meet people to talk through their vocation and where they think God is calling them. Last week I met with a person who is exploring ordination. Alongside a million and one other things that she does, she also works as a shelf stacker in a local supermarket to help ends meet. Her life is busy and so to enable her to interceed for other places in the world she has created an everyday prayer ritual that goes with her shelf stacking.
One role that she does is to move tins and other produce back to their correct aisle in the supermarket. As she delivers the produce she uses the theme of the aisle as an aid to prayer. So she'll go to the world food aisle and use that as a place to pray for the people of the world or she'll go to the freezer section and pray for global warming and environmental awareness. As I was chatting with her it struck me how earthed and rooted this expressions of prayer was. Sometimes prayer rituals/stations that have been created are so extraordinary that they cease to be ordinary. Whilst this has a place, there is also a danger that the extraordinary is what is sought, when in everyday life we need to affirm God in the ordinary. I liked the creativity, i liked the rootedness but above all I like the ordinariness of this prayer ritual.