In the latest of our Everyday faith series of interviews, Liz shares how her faith impacts her life.
Where would we find you and what would we find you doing in a typical week?
I start every day with a large mug of tea and spend some time looking at my garden. I watch the birds, water my plants, top up my bird baths with fresh water. In winter, I fill up my bird feeders. I like to start the day immersed in nature, being in the presence of God the Creator. I spend time every day on ‘church’ tasks; this varies from season to season and can be hectic at certain times of the year.
How does being a Christian make a difference to your week?
I believe that whatever happens in this world, God goes before us and meets us on our arrival. We might feel deserted, lost, disappointed or unable to cope but God accompanies us on our journey. We don’t need to believe this with certainty, it is just so. Even when the decisions we make are flawed or imperfect, God’s will is activated and even if we do nothing, God’s will is accomplished.
What challenges your faith?
I believe we live in a fallen world and that nothing is without imperfection or flaws; I never blame God for disasters or tragedies (personal or world-wide); I’m just sad. I believe we are called to take small steps to make a big difference. I reflect daily on the World. I don’t expect answers, but I hope that prayer will enable me to understand it better.
What strengthens your faith?
I believe human beings have an extraordinary capacity to be generous in their goodness and I look for that in everyone. And that is God’s generosity in the World. I find joy in small things and every day brings something to be thankful for. It’s important to me to have contemplative spaces, to share with others or by myself.
Where and when do you feel God’s presence most strongly?
I reflect on two things every day – ‘be still and know that I am God’ and St Patrick’s breastplate (I arise today). I use the time and space between places to reflect, think and pray. My favourite reflection places are my garden, the walk to St Thomas’s church. Sitting at the back of St Thomas church and contemplating the stained-glass portal of Jesus; I love it when the sun shines through the church windows and makes bands of light on the floor.
Do you feel always comfortable talking about what you believe?
I’m not particularly comfortable with sharing my faith on public forums like this! If anyone asks me personally about my faith, I would (I hope!) share honestly my doubts and certainties. I like silliness. The original meaning of ‘silly’ is ‘blessed’. So, if the church continues to be imperfect, silly, joyful and offer quiet places to reflect, I’ll be fine.