By An Ascendigo Parent
Where is God?
We moved to the mountains. Not just some rolling hilltop in the east–the Rocky Mountains. Here, many people worship in their own space and time and place. We have a friend who is a celebrant, and at the height of wedding season she performs multiple ceremonies a day on mountaintops. God is in the mountains.
When we lived in Los Angeles, our neighbor, a surfer, went to the ‘church of the waves’ on Sunday mornings. God is in the sea.
Sure, I see and feel and experience that God is everywhere. And perhaps Tyler does too. But I don’t really know for sure. Tyler’s autism and associated language challenges make it difficult to have conversations about these things.
Virtually all of Tyler’s learning, especially of the limited language he has acquired, has come in the form of repetition—watching Disney movies over and over and picking up phrases that he eventually applies to real life situations, or rewriting his new address again and again to move aside the old information and set down the new.
And so it seems to be with worship and connecting with God. When the world swirls around him and novelty is unsettling, church is a place where the rote and the ritual are calming and satisfying. It’s where he practiced sitting still and listening quietly in a safe space, where he was welcome even if the ‘being quiet’ was sometimes hard. It’s where he learned the rhythm and sequence of the up and down of hymns, liturgy and prayers.
This young man, who otherwise initiates very little, is the one in our family to begin grace at the dinner table. Tyler is the one whose ‘now I lay me…’ can still be heard from down the hall. When the world swirls and novelty is unsettling, the rote and the ritual are calming and satisfying.
God is in the mountains, and the sea, and in the routine.