Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Unexpected Sanctuaries

This morning I was sitting in chapel, and I have to confess I was studying. I was rapidly trying to finish a novel I needed to be prepared to discuss immediately following the service. I was focused on the words on the page in front of me, engrossed in the story, when God interrupted. Though I was sitting while everyone around was standing and worshipping, the music swelled louder than usual, wrapping its arms around my being, invading my heart with its presence. The bass was throbbing so loud I could feel it resonating within my heart. But I realized the rhythm shaking within me was not the notes of a bass line melody. It was God.

The words were singing. God is jealous for me. He loves like a hurricane, and I am tree, bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy

I closed my eyes for a moment and let the windstorm break through into my routine, blowing me over in its wake. It was only a moment. I still went on reading my homework during chapel, but it was a rich moment, a moment when my studies and my worship visibly fused, a moment that left my reading infused with something more. Oh how He loves me.

Life is full of unexpected sanctuaries. They come in all sizes and shapes, from all directions. The book I was reading this morning (The River Why by David James Duncan) in chapel put it differently. A fly fisherman states:

I stand in this sweet river, stabbing invisible golldang tippet
at the eye of this golldang fly through the strength of heaven,
light of the sun, radiance of the moon, splendor of fire,
speed of lightning, swiftness of wind, stability of earth,
firmness of rock, flow of river, song of bird, beat of heart,
filling and emptying of lungs, Christ with me, Christ behind
me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ
on my left, Christ on my right, Christ in the heart of every bird,
bug, or fish who passes, sees, touches, or bites me, Christ in every
tree, flower, cloud, blade of grass, element, galaxy, and seen or
unseen world that encompasseth me.

Every moment, every piece of creation holds the potential to become a sanctuary, something sacred transformed by God. I am so grateful that He doesn’t always wait for me to discover them on my own, but that He brings a few to me, blowing through my days like a hurricane.

Blow on wind, blow on.

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