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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Sacred Space

For many reasons, one of which is likely age, I have become a very early riser.  Even when I need to sleep in due to a late night, my body still awakens sometime between 4:30 and 6:00 a.m.  Occasionally  I will remain asleep until the 6:30 alarm -- very rare.  Because I work from home and am engaged in ministry woven around the schedules of others and my own wacky and unpredictable daily agenda, I have slowly (and somewhat reluctantly) accepted and adapted to my body's internal time clock.  Although I am awake early, I try not to schedule any meetings until the afternoon or at least not before 11 a.m.  Settling into this new morning rhythm has given me the time and space for quiet, reflection, reading, journaling, art-making, walking, sitting -- just being present with God and what the Spirit may have for me on that day.  As chaos ensues quite often in the remainder of the day and evening hours, I am grateful for the opportunity to enter into those experiences with some sense of calm and peace surrounding me and those I will interact with.

Today, I was awake at 5 a.m. which enabled me to be fully present with a cup of tea as the new day began.  This was my Sacred Space in which to begin the morning as the birds sang me into the day.  For Lent (and it appears finishing it in Eastertide), I am reading John O'Donohue's book Beauty.  I have had this book for a few years and never quite got to it.  I am a Benedictine Oblate with Mount Saint Benedict in Erie, PA.  One of the sisters recommended to fill each day of Lent with "beauty" which called me to this book that has been a perfect companion to my  morning rhythm.   This view at daybreak a few hours ago made the words I read into a gift from the Holy.

It is not always this way, however, is it?  I have had seasons of life when  I have been in a medical setting at 3 a.m., 6 a.m. without a window in sight; when I have, thankfully, slept until late morning after being awake for much of the night due to concern for a loved one or my physical presence with them; and those seasons when any sense of a spiritual rhythm was confined to a lot of deep sighs and prayers of "Lord, come quickly."  Those hards times remind me that when I can seize these moments of relative calm and gentle breathing, I absolutely must claim God's gift to me for refreshment.

I have been healing from a significant stomach virus that arrived while I was out of state (never good timing).  My husband and I returned home two days ago after 20 hours of travel.  Feeling weary and terribly unproductive, my bare feet had to claim a bit of Sacred Space shortly after our arrival home to lush and abundant grass amidst a few beautiful pink wildflowers.
I gentled myself into the space of home, moved a bit more slowly, released all expectations for "catching up", and allowed what I know can heal me to do its work.  It has done its magic.

Our bodies may not always be at their best.  I have come to learn that our soul, our spirit, is there to support us into a place of healing, of wholeness, of nurture even if the physical is not immediately relieved of its pain, discomfort or general dis-ease.   We need to simply learn how God desires to nurture our soul and, then, receive the nourishment offered in each moment.

I invite you to find a piece of Sacred Space today.  It may be in the outdoors where mine is most often found.  It may be in the soft embrace of a pet.  It may be in the comfort of a favorite chair.  It may be in the warm touch of someone who loves you.  It may be through the words found in a sacred text.  And perhaps, for you today, it may be found in taking a few very deep breaths as you exit a medical setting and and notice whatever your senses bring to you in that moment.  Sometimes we simply need to expect God to provide and, then, to stop, notice, receive the gift, and whisper a heart-filled "thank you" to the One who gives to us always.

Our Blog Community continues to grow and many of you have shared you find encouragement here.  I invite you to take a moment to comment to this particular post.  You each have a gift to share with others in this community.  Where is your Sacred Space?  Perhaps you will encourage another to think outside the box and find a new space in which to find nourishment.  And, perhaps, you will find another kindred spirit in your space with you.

Blessings of Sacred Space to you this day ...

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