Belief in providence is both necessary and impossible, absurd but deeply human. It is not required of Christians formally by the creeds, but it is required of them by their daily prayer. Central to Christian prayer is the belief that God acts, that he has a purpose not only for the whole creation but for the individual, and that if individuals bring their concerns to God, God will make a difference.
But how does this difference come about? How is it possible to find evidence of the activity of God in the world around us and in our own lives. What criteria, what models, can we use?
The image used of God here, after much discussion of the problems of providence when thought of in connection with either God or human beings, is that of the theatre director, particularly the theatre director exemplified by Peter Brook in his famous book The Empty Space. In this perspective God can be present as one whose job it is to evoke talents, skills and.capabilities people did not know they had. God is given a supremely active and creative role, and one which does not destroy, or manipulate, human autonomy. And in this perspective, men and women are given hope, that they will not find love's labours lost.