Peace for your Path...

"peace. it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. it means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart." (unknown)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

smooth stones placed by small hands

I was very grateful for the opportunity to spend the morning at The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd facilitating two very different types of labyrinth walks. The first was for a group of young children, and then the second walk was for their parents.

The theme of the family retreat was "Solid Together". With this in mind, I gathered some stones from my side yard early this morning. I washed them off in my laundry room sink and then placed them in a basket at the entrance of the labyrinth once I got up to church. Walkers were invited to select a stone and walk with it into the labyrinth if they wanted to do so. The idea was for them to leave their solid stone around the Christ candle in the center of the labyrinth as they took some time to reflect on their own personal walk of faith.

The kids loved this idea and totally made it their very own. In a few seconds, all the stones were grabbed and run directly to the center, carried lovingly by tiny, excited hands. The children worked together to create a unique way to encircle the Christ candle, laughing with Joy and then taking off to run through the labyrinth with exuberance and delight. A few kids chose to walk the path after that on their own, yet most just enjoyed quiet time in the sunshine to draw pictures for their parents, run their hands in the flowing water of the fountain, ring the chimes, trace wooden finger labyrinths and visit with each other amidst the surrounding trees and beauty of nature.

In contrast, the adults' walk was equally lovely but much more quiet and contemplative. Though only a few of the grown-up walkers chose stones to carry with them to the center, these were just as lovingly placed with careful intent and serious purpose around the Christ candle with prayer.

These two labyrinth walks occurred within just a few minutes of each other in the exact same location by members of the same families, and yet each experience was so very different to witness.

This event was, undoubtedly, just as God intended it to be. It was a blessed reminder to me that ALL personal forms of worship are equally acceptable to the God who loves us and that we can learn much from the wisdom and the joyful ways of our children....

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