Sunday, September 11, 2011

Safe Haven


What good fellowship we once enjoyed as we walked together to the house of God. ~ Psalm 55:14

 

 
 
There is a safe haven for me in this world. Besides my home. Today, September 11, 2011, I am even more aware and more appreciative of having a refuge from the world. A world that is oftentimes unjust and unkind. It is a building, simple in structure and design, yet filled with people of all types. It is not an invincible building; it is still susceptible to the evil people in this world and the weapons they may use. But the people in the building, they are filled with love. It is the love that makes it my refuge.


 
I love walking into my church and today was no exception. We have spent our summer worship services in our small chapel which is a comforting place in itself, but going back into the "big house" each September signifies people returning from summer vacations and the start of a new season for us. People come together again to celebrate a new Sunday school year. It is a  time of new beginnings and new projects. New faces and new opportunities for fellowship.




As much as I love my safe haven, it is not about the walls, ceiling, flowers, or pews. It is about what I feel when I am there. I feel God's presence. I feel a sense of peace that is often difficult for me to put into words. I can be myself in this haven and even when I make mistakes, say the wrong things, or have a bad day, I am accepted. It is the place that has helped me reclaim my identity and my relationship with God. It is the place I have found love of all kinds.




Because of vacation and illness, I have not been at my church on a regular basis over the past few weeks. Usually I am there at least twice a week, oftentimes more depending on what missions and activities are occurring that week. I thought of that when I woke up this morning. On top of the usual autoimmune issues I had been dealing with lately, I had a trip to the emergency room two days ago which resulted in the diagnosis of two ovarian cysts, one of them ruptured. The pain has been hell and sleep has been minimal, especially since pain medications seem to cause me significant insomnia. Despite not wanting to make the effort to shower and get dressed, I just knew that if I got to my safe haven, I would feel better. Maybe not physically, but definitely emotionally and spiritually.



And right I was. When I walked through those big heavy green doors and heard the sound of people laughing and talking, I knew that I was where I was supposed to be. One familiar voice after another. One warm hug after another. Familiarity. A listening ear. Sign-up sheets for upcoming volunteer opportunities. Normalcy. Children just a little taller than the last time I saw them.



Kind words.

Music.

Laughter.

Prayer.

Love.



These are the things which truly heal... 














































































Photo: Courtesy of Chuck Myers

4 comments:

  1. beautiful! how lucky to have found such a place.

    sue

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  2. Beautifully written - as usual. I spent twenty two years as a pastor's wife, in Lutheran congregations of all shapes and sizes. Some of my most fond memories - like the ones you speak of - were in tiny little rural congregations. Small in number, big in love. Very comforting indeed.

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  3. Everyone needs a safe haven and your sounds absolutely lovely!

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  4. Thank you all for your comments. Yes, I am quite lucky to have such a great place. I try to remember that when things seem a little on the bleak side.

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