have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we
have lost in information?
~T.S. Eliot, (Merton College Oxford)
'Choruses from The Rock'
I don't know if you've noticed it or not, but the world out there is a little bit crazy. Ok, a lot crazy--and very scary. I know I'm not alone in saying there are days that I feel shell-shocked. The events that have been taking place in the two countries I love best, Britain and the U.S., have left us all feeling wobbly and confused. Relentless news, videos, and verbal analysis of it, as it unfolds second by second, leaves our nervous systems shattered. The impulse to escape the din of information is a strong one, and the never-ending noise makes you want to run for the hills and never come out again.
|The hills of mid-Wales always beckon,|
a tempting escape from the world.
|Our big, old, Lutheran church in|
Beloit, Wisconsin. Us 4 PKs
had the run of it. One time I
even discovered our Sunday
School choir director kissing
someone they shouldn't have.
Oh, the 1950s!!
It's also where I first felt the
feeling of sanctuary.
Growing up I knew of only one sanctuary, the church sanctuary, the place people retreated to on Sunday morning. Because we were the 'PKs' (pastor's kids), we had access to the church sanctuary at other times too. Times when it was empty, quiet, still and cool. That's the sanctuary that became embedded in my heart with a cool, stillness--like an unruffled pond in the evening. And that's the kind of sanctuary I still seek out.
sanctuarium--or a place to keep
holy things, like relics. Through
time it's also come to mean a place
of safety and of refuge.
God is in the midst of you.
can hear doves whispering as
they rest their wings in the rafters
of your silent sanctuary.
~Kate Mullane Robertson
having travelled the thousands of miles,
down the west coast of America, through
the Panama Canal and then across
the pond to Britain in a 40ft container.
My Francis, my intrepid voyageur.
|A summerhouse is any little shed, building, structure tucked into|
a British garden. It's used during the "warmer" months of
summer. A place to be outside, but out of the rain, or to enjoy
the long summer evenings.
|New College from the summerhouse.|
dreaming, or sometimes just taking deep
breaths after an especially stressful morning
and breakfast. In the corner I have a little
cupboard that was brought over with us,
|Digging for buried treasure, laying just|
beneath the surface of our garden.
grows with patience and love.
It's my heart, in flower form.
Birds stop by for a little tea party.....
....and the girls scratch & peck out in the sunshine.
of enchantment to turn to.
~Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
The world is a topsy-turvy place right now, swiftly shifting and changing underfoot, so it's easy to lose our balance. Seeking sanctuary for ourselves is like putting our own oxygen masks on first--giving ourselves deep, long breaths of restorative air so we can turn to the person next to us and say, how can I help? How may I serve?
universe is holy joy.
~Martin Buber (Philosopher)
The gloom of the world is but a shadow;
behind it, yet within our reach, is Joy.
(Italian friar, architect, antiquary,
archaeologist, and classical scholar.)
Joy is the infallible sign
of the Presence of God.
~Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
(Jesuit priest, philosopher &
A joyful heart
is good medicine.
(Principally written by King
Solomon, the standard
bearer of wisdom.)
Give yourself permission to seek sanctuary; breathe deeply, unpack your burdens for a bit, look for peace poking in a window here or there, let your heart rest for a moment, and most of all, take joy. Always take joy....and then pass it on.