When God Becomes Small – By Phil Needham
Author Phil Needham in his book, When God Becomes Small, captures the reader’s attention with the following statement: “Our dissatisfaction may be rooted in a salary we think is too small, a home we think too humble, a marriage that is not as fulfilling as we had hoped. . .We look around and see people who seem to have more than us, or better lives than us, and it strikes us as unfair – even wrong. We could look deeper and search our souls. We could allow ourselves to see the gifts of God already at our fingertips.” Who among us has not reflected on some of these very thoughts and kept silent because it just doesn’t sound very spiritual?
Many of us have bought into the idea that bigger means better. This school of thought has infiltrated every aspect of our lives including our relationship with God. When we hear the word “miracle” we immediately think of the lame walking, blind seeing or a rising from the dead. Certainly those are miracles and we point to these accounts in the Bible and celebrate the power they represent. Commissioner Needham asks us to train our spiritual eyes and see “outside the box”. It is when we slow down and look around, that Jesus draws near and we become sensitive to the fact that miracles are all around us and especially within us. The author challenges us to come to terms with Jesus’ opposition to our obsession with more and bigger claims with “…we must see the true Jesus beyond the Jesus we’ve dressed in the values of our grasping, success-driven culture.” This kind of perspective may not be popular, but it produces strong faith and soul health.
When God Becomes Small reminds us that if we remain in the small moments and allow ourselves to experience them, they become gifts to be received.
There is a movement in the faith community today to return to a more contemplative lifestyle. Social media has convinced us that we are more connected and attentive to each other, but in actuality we are taking little opportunity to pause over the important matters of each other and our individual journeys. When God Becomes Small reminds us that if we remain in the small moments and allow ourselves to experience them, they become gifts to be received. We can learn to nurture those moments. It is in the waiting for God to touch us at any time that the intimacy of our relationship with him grows. Needham reminds us, “Time is not a quantity to be measured, manipulated, and mastered. It is a moment to wait for, a fullness to be received, and a response to be given.”