Rich Paxson

In the Discussion Forum of this unit, share ways in which you have noticed the content, questions or insights from the previous module showing up in your lives.

The previous module considered how God continually comes toward us in three ‘moments’ of Atonement: through liturgy; in our bargaining over the small and big transactions of our daily lives; and through persons who unexpectedly convey the warming presence of God’s love. What does this mean in my life? In recognizing these three moments, I think of the turning of the tide, the time when the low tide reaches its limit, just before the high tide begins its return.

At the low tide of Atonement, I see the widest extent of what was covered up on my inner tidal flats. The high and rough places, provocations in my life, appear but without their power to make me defensive. Where I would have gotten my back up at them before, now I remain relaxed. I view these high and rough places, and yet I am content to wait patiently knowing that God’s atoning presence returns silently, through liturgy and contemplative prayer, but also at completely unexpected times throughout my daily life. The returning, atoning flood will wear away my high places as the young life of God’s loving presence washes over them, making them plain.