Sacred Spaces

We know we have encountered a sacred space when we arrive there…it has happened to me before.  I am always surprised and joyful when I know I am there, as if I have been invited by the One who loves me.  The space this time was discovered while spending a week in retreat at Mepkin Abbey.  The week was the gift of breathing, rest, and worship.  It ushered in solitude, grace, love, and warmth…healing my weary soul.  The sacred space was revealed in the garden, in the most inconspicuous of places among it all.  The beauty of the gardens overlooking the waters of the Cooper River invites the visitor to come and sit, listen and pray.   But it was on a set of steps leading up to a cemetery that I felt washed over with love…in a ravine with lush underbrush and beautiful random flowers.  The most amazing songs were sung by the symphony of birds, songs that were the most welcoming and joyful I have ever encountered.  They stole the silence of the grounds and my heart invited their song. My heart needed their song.  The beauty of it all was indescribable.  I wanted to stay in that place, in that moment, forever.  Or, at least to return often, to know I was close enough to capture the sacredness of it all, again and again.  But that isn’t how some sacred spaces work.  Some are given to us for just a glimpse, a season, a breath.  They are a momentary vision of God’s amazing beauty and grace wrapped in greenery and song, and my heart was full.  But at some point, I had to move…to move on, to move forward, reaching ever closer to the call.  I am grateful to be given the space, if just for a little while.  I was reminded of God’s Presence in the songs of his small but powerful creation.  While I can’t stay forever, I can carry the joy, the love and the peace with me as I serve.  May God continue to give sacred spaces, if just for a moment…and may I stop to hear his still, small voice that changes everything.  Until next time…

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