Saturday, May 11, 2013

hope, freedom & sacred space

I encountered the question what is sacred space? recently, and it has caused me to do some thinking.  Last Sunday at The Well, I shared a brief response to that question.  I experience sacred space as the place where one's true self and God meet, I said.  It is a place of attention and openness to God's presence.  It can happen anywhere, and can stir us toward a spontaneous response of some sort.

Over the past couple of months, as we have moved through the book of Acts, we have explored the ways that the Spirit of God has broken numerous barriers.  Fear, (over)certainty, and roadblocks were all encountered by post-resurrection followers of Jesus trying to share the good news.  As we have shared the ways we too have met, and at times overcome barriers on our journeys, it seemed fitting to come together for a night of celebration.  The idea was to create space for those who may not have paused to see or to celebrate a broken barrier, and to offer all of us room to be encouraged by these shared stories.

We shared a potluck dinner together, and then gathered in the backyard for a time of listening and sharing.  There were children (and pets) running around, no scripts or worship orders, and an unruly fire pit mixed with wind that kept blowing smoke in our direction.  As person after person began to offer up their broken barriers, words of hope were mixed with sadness and fear.  Addictions, anxiety and abuse were named.  Even in the overcoming of difficult circumstances, there were regrets, fears of relapse and the humility of owning our own stories.  It was messy and beautiful at the same time.  It was so real. God was evident in difficult details and in hope-filled futures.

It was sacred space.

During the remainder of this week, I have experienced a raised awareness of God's presence.  In conversations with my children, in encounters with strangers, in moments of relaxation and in quiet moments of prayer, I have been more mindful of God at work.  The faith community that I am part of has helped remind me that God stirs, calls, and moves beyond our control.  God is present and moving through the fears, uncertainties, as well as in the celebrations along the way.  In our willingness to bring the details of our lives to one another and to God, we encounter hope and freedom for the days ahead.

I wonder...

Where and how are you encountering sacred space?  

How is it nourishing you for the journey ahead?

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