Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

Believers in Small Graces

--by Kent Nerbern (Feb 08, 2011)

There are those who search God in the quiet places -- no churches, no public displays of piety, no dramatic or flamboyant rituals.

They may be found standing in humble awe before a sunset, or weeping quietly at the beauty of a Bach concerto, or filled with an overflowing of pure love at the sight of an infant in the arms of its mother.

You may meet them visiting the elderly, comforting the lonely, feeding the hungry, and caring for the sick.

The greatest among them may give away what they own in the name of compassion and goodness, while never once uttering the word “God” out loud. Or they may do no more than offer a smile or a hand to someone in need, or quietly bow their heads at a moment of beauty that passes through their lives, and say a simple prayer of gratitude to the spirit that has created us all.

They are the lovers of the quiet God, the believers in the small graces of ordinary life.

Theirs is not the grand way, the way of the mystic or the preacher or the zealot or the saint. Some would say that theirs is not a way at all. All they know for certain is that life has beauty and a joy that transcends all the darkness that surrounds us, that something ineffable lives beyond the ordinary affairs of the day, and that without this mystery our lives would not be worth living.

I honor those who search for the quiet God, who seek the spirit in the small moments of our everyday life. It is a celebration of the ordinary, a reminder that when all else is stripped away, a life lived with love is enough.

--Kent Nerbern

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Previous Reflections:

On Feb 7, 2011 shirley hetherington wrote:

I am opposed to organised religion, mostly on the basis of the controls the church applies to the parishioner. This is particularly so of the new age churches where all are encouraged to have a "close relationship" with Jesus. Some of the practices of these churches are no different to those which extort money from people for use in bolstering their own riches. 

I personally feel closer to God, or the Universe, (or  whatever deity others believe to be the Highest Power), when I am among nature, Like when I am gardening with my hands in the soil, when I hear birds communicating, dolphins frolicking or examine the most minute  flower to find the most exquisite pattern and colours. It is then that I feel the power of the universe at its miraculous and magnificent best. 

On Feb 8, 2011 ganoba wrote:

I live with a God who has no need for publicity of any kind. 

On Feb 8, 2011 Ricky wrote:

Possibly the most inspirational writing I have had the honor to read in quite a while, and it represents exactly the uplifting nature of the deep connection we all have to the Consciousness within us.  A dear friend has stated that in answer to the question "Why this then?" when asked what's the point of us being here now, "This is the infinite having a finite experience."  And this beautifully written passage captures this essence in holistic terms.  Thank you so much.

On Feb 8, 2011 Kate wrote:

 This is awesome - what a beautiful writing and reminder - thank you, for sharing!  

On Feb 8, 2011 mp wrote:

This writing makes me feel that someone understands my relationship with my God - and it reminds us that the person in standing reverently in a grove of trees is in a church in the same way a person is who is in the grandest catherdral.  I give thanks for this writing. 

On Feb 8, 2011 Frank Dickinson wrote:

Simply beautiful. Well spoken. 

On Feb 8, 2011 Andrew wrote:

This is a beautiful and inspiring piece of writing. Very much appreciated reminder. The only thing that bothers me is that in its message, from my reading, there is a slight undertone of comparison that somehow lessens the work of the saints, the mystics, etc. While I wholeheartedly agree with the message given here, I am a bit disappointed in its attempt to give out its message it has to compare one way with another way. The saints and the mystics also hold a high standard for us, for sure, but it does not in my mind lessen in anyway the spiritual connections that we also have when planting a garden, or seeing a mother and child, or watching a sunset. And, for me, it goes the other way, these latter experiences are for me inspirations that make me want to continue to increase, in my life, my connection with the spiritual, as did those men and women who we have come to think of and call as saints and mystics. They and their work should not really and truly be compared with organized religion, but rather the greater community of those who appreciate creation, God, Spirit, whatever we may call or refer to that power or presence. They are for me just as much an inspiration as the sunset, and all of the other experiences that point me back to the inner presence of God, Spirit, and so forth. They tell me that it is possible to attain constant union with the Divine.

On Feb 8, 2011 Rod Templin wrote:

As the Tao Te Ching says, "Content with a simple life, you can show all people the way back to their own true nature."  Years after he passed, I learned that my father, knowing I was on a full scholarship, had anonymously used all of the money he saved for my college education to send another young man to school. No one would have ever known.  To me, that is Love in action.

On Feb 8, 2011 Susan McCauley wrote:

 You will also find these people rescuing the animals at risk around the planet.

On Feb 8, 2011 Conrad wrote:

Thanks so much Nippon,

You have my gratitude. This is very inspiring. You continue to have the best statements of any place on the web.

Warm and kind regards,


On Feb 8, 2011 Scott wrote:

I have always felt that your way of living your more conscious and intentional life is your reflection of God.  I was raised with the understanding that prayer and your connection to God was in the act of living to your own highest sense of right and good.

THanks for this lovely piece.


On Feb 16, 2011 christine kitili wrote:

i love this, we don't have to be like the pharisees.

On Jan 19, 2019 wrote:
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