Nicholas Herman was born to peasants in Lorraine, France. He had no choice but to join the army to escape his poverty. After his conversion and eventual discharge from the army because of injury, he entered a monastery in Paris wand became known simply as Brother Lawrence.
Lawrence was assigned to the kitchen. For the rest of his life his work consisted of cooking and cleaning. He was not a featured lectureship speaker; he authored no book. But for Lawrence, common business—the way we go about every day of our lives—is not mundane, routine, or unimportant. Instead, the common is where God is most interested in acting and showing his love.
“Nor is it needful that we should have great things to do,” Lawrence said, “we each can do little things for God. I turn the cake that is frying on the pan for love of him, and that done, if there is nothing else to call me, I prostrate myself fin worship before him, who has given me grace to work; afterwards I rise happier than a king. It is enough for me to pick up but a straw from the ground for the love of God.”
Lawrence’s attitude of treating every moment of life as sacred to God attracted attention. He was investigated by Abbe de Beaufort, the aide of the cardinal in 1666. Four interviews were given, and those were recorded and copied in a simple book called The Practice of the Presence of God. It’s a neat read about learning to understand that God is always present.
Lawrence embodied the teaching of Colossians 3:23: “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” (NLT) May we learn the practice of the presence of God!