This is Canon Victoria’s letter in our weekly Parish News email. To sign up for our newsletter, please visit: Constant Contact. To see the full weekly Parish News email from Apr 21st, please visit: http://conta.cc/2p4nDf4
For some, it is a place in nature, where there is a deep stillness and a place that gives rise to awe. I used to wander to a stream nearly a mile from my parents house. I would sit on the middle of the rocks in the creek, read Merton, and watch the interplay of light and water and hear the endless chuckle of the clear waters.
For others, it may be their place where they pray daily. The layers upon layers of prayers, of thoughtful reading of the scriptures, of being still and knowing that God is–all of that creates an invisible and indefinable sense of being on holy ground. I always pray by windows, if I can, and several houses back began to stake my claim for such spaces. My first prayer window faced north, and I saw the northern lights a few times and always, in winter, the North Star. I remember, though the room was destroyed.
For still others, the sacred space is a church, often a special pew. This is where they sat that day when their world was rocked, when they wept for someone, where they rejoiced to sing out a known and splendid hymn. That is where we took our vows, baptized our child. There is a couple that lives west of Fort Worth. They come back each year on their anniversary because the Church of the Redeemer is holy ground for them.
As Peter discovered on Mount Tabor, one cannot hold on to the presence of God. Christ is risen: He is not here. When Christ shows up, usually, we don’t recognize him until He is leaving. (Luke 9:28-36) Then, we remember and that road or that upper room becomes beloved, holy.
I once stooped and entered the tomb of Christ’s Sepulture in Jerusalem. Intellectually, I knew that it was one of the holiest places of the world, but I had never encountered God there. I would rather have stepped back out to the creek of my childhood, or in my parish church or praying at the window in the morning.
What are your sacred spaces? It is good to know and remember. Of course, you also must expect that God will call you out of those spaces, one way or another, to walk forward into new life and ministry.