These are tricky times for us all. In the midst of pandemic, in the midst of global and national challenges, or natural disasters and strong storms and raging fires, we long to be connected, to feel a part of each other and this beautiful creation. In the community where I walk, many neighbors continue to deal with food insecurity and violence. The uptick in violence and overdoses has grieved all of our hearts when we’re already grieving so much.
God have mercy.
God bring comfort.
God now guide us.
In an effort to move toward peace within ourselves and our communities, Amazing Grace hosted a labyrinth walk today.
I want you to know how beautiful today unfolded. As some of you perhaps know, one of our largest challenges these days is the use of drugs in the gardens. In fact, sometimes it's difficult for me to not be angry and villanize people who use drugs because of the syringes and trash that gets left in the area. But today I was able to engage about 6 drug users early this morning to help me clean up the area. We gathered up over 4 contractor bags of debris and garbage. These folks were helpful, and the gardens and labyrinth looked better than they have in awhile.
11 o'clock came around and several people form the worshipping community came around to share in the walk. I announced we were getting ready to walk the labyrinth for peace and healing. And all the people who use drugs said "OK OK we'll get out of the way! We'll leave." And I said "No, please join in." AND THEY DID!
We walked the labyrinth together, breathing out the grief and pain of pandemic, violence, trauma. The brokenness that causes us to lose ourselves in fear and depression. We breathed out those things that keep us from being our best selves.
And we breathed in hope, and healing, and new beginnings. We breathed in love and light, and possibility. We breathed in healthy relationships, and joy.
And we quietly walked to the center of the labyrinth and left our burdens at the rock, and we walked out standing straighter.
And at the end of the labyrinth walk we all stood around the peace pole and shared how we had been touched. And it was good. And God was deeply present.
Peace, Pastor Gary