Labyrinth

We have had our labyrinth for just over a year this month. As I reflect on the past year, and see how beautifully renewed our garden is, I am touched by the truth that this is a small reflection of Christian life.

People walk our labyrinth who we will never know. People walk our labyrinth and not only do we not know their names, but we don’t even know they’ve done so. I know: how do we know what we don’t know, right? Not so long ago, I was talking with a community meal guest. A desultory easy-paced little conversation. She shared that she regularly walks and prays our labyrinth. It keeps her going through the tough times. I never knew.

On a different occasion, I was leaving church on a Sunday afternoon. It was the time when transitions are happening and day is beginning to turn toward evening, people are tucking in to their homes. A stranger was standing in the very middle of the labyrinth praying aloud with all her heart and all her mind and all her focus. I was glad to slip by unnoticed as I added my silent prayers in counterpoint to her strongly voiced ones.

We created something of beauty. Available to all who pass by. Inviting engagement simply by its very presence. An offering freely given without expectation or demand. Simply present. Available. Reaching out. Welcoming. 24-7. Regardless of any “credit” coming our way. It just is. A sign of this community of Grace’s charism of radical hospitality, and steady presence - whether or not there are any tangible results that we can measure and replicate. We just are.

So, too, the love of God in Christ. It just is. There for the receiving. Perhaps changing lives, sometimes renewing hope, quietly increasing faith, steadily gladdening hearts. Whether or not it is noticed, God’s love shimmers over and around, in and through, us. Will we notice?

 

The Rev. Jan Smith Wood

August 2019


 

Everyone is invited to walk our labyrinth. Any time. Any day.

It is outdoors, nestled in our garden. Shaded in the daytime and well-lit in the evening.

Made of bricks, it is level and smooth - easy to walk.

Made to fit the city space we have, it is quite a bit smaller than the medieval labyrinths on which it is modeled. Nevertheless, the walking is still soothing, inspiring, and can help you walk your way into newness of insight and understanding.

Come any time.

Stay as long as you like.


New to the spiritual practice of a labyrinth? Here are some resources.

labyrinthlocator.com has an international list of labyrinths. There are 142 listed in Ohio from Akron to Zanesville.

Veriditas (Veriditas.org) is a non-profit organization founded by the Rev. Dr. Lauren Artress and dedicated to fostering the use of labyrinths around the world. As Canon for Special Ministries at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, Dr. Artress rediscovered the ancient tradition of labyrinths while in France on sabbatical. As the website notes, "Lauren not only introduced the walking meditation back into the Christian tradition but also introduced the labyrinth back into Western culture."

Learn about Walking Meditation. Practice it in the labyrinth and everywhere you walk. Herei's a resource from Greater Good in Action: Science-based Practices for a Meaningful Life: ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/walking_meditation

You might want to borrow one of our resource books:

Walking a Sacred Path, by Lauren Artress

The Sacred Path Companion, Lauren Artress

Mindfulness on the Go, Jan Chozen Bays

Meditate with Me, Mariam Gates

In the Age of Noise, Erling Kagge

Labyrinths from the Outside In, Donna Schaffer and Carole Ann Camp

 

Come and walk our labyrinth - any time. We have prayer cards that offer a simple way to begin. Like every spiritual practice, all we have to do is make a beginning. And then practice.

 

May you be blessed in every step you take.

May you be blessed wherever you go.

May you be blessed by knowing God’s presence.


Bless all who walk this Way.

If you walk in need

may it be a path of prayer for you.

 

If you walk in chaos

may it be a path of stillness for you.

 

If you walk in gratitude

may it be a path of gratitude for you.

 

If you walk in certainty

may it be a path of mystery for you.

 

If you walk in vulnerability

may it be a path of courage for you.

 

If you walk in brokenness

may it be a path of healing for you.

 

If you walk in regret

may it be a path of forgiveness for you.

 

May you know Life and Resurrection.

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

Words to walk by...

 

“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”

 

“Come and follow me.”

 

“Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest.”

 

“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God,

have mercy on me, a sinner.”

 

“Thy will be done.”

  October 2019  
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