Wednesday, August 10, 2005

sanctuary

i grew up knowing the inside of a church as well as, or perhaps even better than, the inside of my home. over the years i have worshipped in and visited every possible kind of sanctuary, from humble wooden one-room churches on unpaved roads to grand cathedrals in europe, brand-new modern structures to temples that have served countless generations, churches where women were not allowed to speak and churches run only by women, churches with young stylish bands and churches with music only a cappella, churches that offer pomp and circumstance and churches whose congregations gather in silence, churches where women and men sit on opposite sides of the room and churches where families sit together. i have joined worshippers in christian, jewish, hindu, buddhist, and other faiths.

i love sanctuaries.

i live in a suburban neighborhood with an anglican church just a few doors away. as i travel 16th street to my office in the mornings, i pass 39 sanctuaries in my thirty-minute drive. the last street i pass before turning onto my street is church street. my office building is next door to washington, d.c.’s oldest baptist church.

i love sanctuaries.

as is my custom on many days, today i took time to leave my office and spend a few minutes in the sanctuary, a beautiful old church filled with stained glass windows and towering stone columns. i entered and stood in the softened light at the foyer and stood still, allowing my soul to embrace the spirit there. as my feet walked the stone floor that led to the front, i was awash in the beauty and riches of this spiritual place. i was alone, surrounded by the sound of organ music. i reached the front of the temple and by now my face was wet with tears. in this place i am open. i am cleansed. i am whole. i often weep (but not from sadness, from wholeness). here i am on holy ground.

i love sanctuaries and come here as often as i can.

what i am drawn to, what i love, is a message to my life. life is a mirror and our work is to see our reflections and discover our truth within. everything, absolutely everything, is a message.

i am drawn to sanctuaries not because i am in need of a sactuary, a place for God to reside. i am drawn to sanctuaries because i have a sanctuary, a place where God resides. this is my reflection. my time inside a sanctuary brings me in touch with my own Sanctuary.

i have a Sanctuary.

and if what i have is a reflection of what i am, what i have is what i am.

i have a Sanctuary...

i am a Sanctuary...

1 comment:

Mark Walter said...

my wife is a cleaning lady, so i appreciate your thoughtful post.

i enjoy reading your posts. in my humble opinion, you are connecting well. that connection is coming through in your writing. and that connection is what attracts me to your posts.

i don't know if any of this makes sense to you, but i'll take it just one step further. the connection that i sense you expressing is the thing that i believe we are all here to express... the thing that we are being tested to see if we will stand up for it and express it, put value on it.

So it is from that persepective that i enjoy your posts, and value your insights.

best regards,
Mark