When I was a child, family vacations usually ended up in the vicinity of the Smoky Mountains. Even when primary destinations were North Carolina or Washington, D.C., somehow my parents would work the routes so that we would stop for at least a few nights in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, with drives through the Smoky Mountains National Park. Gatlinburg was a tourist town even then, but it looked radically different from what it does today.
A native of flatland New Orleans, my mother loved the mountains. And every trip we made, she could be counted on for saying “You feel closer to God in the mountains.” It wasn’t for reasons of altitude. It was because of the quiet and majesty of the mountains, the sounds of the roadside rivers and streams, and the sheer splendor of nature.
For writer Kaitlin Curtice, you don’t have to go to the mountains to find and experience the divine. In Glory Happening: Finding the Divine in Everyday Places, Curtice finds grace and glory in the everyday and the mundane.
A card game. A cave. A lost dog. A garden. Goats and chickens. Friends. A blood transfusion. A child with leukemia. Seedlings. Hunger. A theft of a laptop computer. Simple things. Obvious things. The things of everyday life.
Part memoir, part observation, and part prayer, Curtice has assembled 50 short reflections, each marked by a quiet simplicity. She brings the close eye of the writer, not the professional observer or watcher, but the writer who pauses, looks, sees, considers, and understands. She sees just enough, and provides a glimpse of the divine. Her response is prayer, and each of the 50 writings includes a prayer.
The wonder is there, she says. Stop long enough to look for it. You’ll find it.
Curtice is an author, writer, speaker, and worship leader. Her writing focuses on the intersection of culture and spirituality. She’s writer for Sojourners, Decaturish, and Red Rising Magazine, among others. She blogs at her web site.
Glory Happening is an invitation to open your eyes, look at what surrounds you in your everyday life. You don’t have to travel to the mountains to find God.
Top photograph by Robert Collins via Unsplash. Used with permission.