At the centre


A couple of times a month at church, on a Tuesday evening, we have Centering Prayer. Some of you are no doubt experts at that; I’m never quite sure if I’m doing it right. But the idea of a centered and centering God appeals to my imagination.

When anxiety has me spinning, spiralling down, at the bottom of the funnel cloud of fear, collapsed in upon the centre, I find God.

When the night sky, or an unfamiliar crowd, stretch out so as to make me shrink with smallness by their magnitude I find God still, distilled into a still, small voice in the centre of my senses.

When my breath is gone, my chest constricted, God capillaries into the clench and bids it breathe again, expanding the centre, squeezing comfort in between gasps of air.

In ashes, in dust, in the wondering eye of a child, there is no centre too small for God to fit into. Only the blunt instrument of my clumsy prayer breaks God’s image into fractions, fractals, falling, breaking in and out of shape like the pattern at the end of a child’s kaleidoscope.

When the world seems to spin off its axis with the violence of human activity, I find, after all, that God is still within, at the centre of creation, buried from sight for the moment but ultimately unbound by the dirt we pile over the graves we had dug, like Joseph, for ourselves.

The Revd Rosalind C Hughes is the Rector of the Church of the Epiphany in Euclid, Ohio. Her blog, over the water, is at

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