…another time did come. We were given an hour before lunch today to reflect on how the Spirit spoke to us this week. So, after the experience this morning with the Labyrinth, I knew it was time to go back. What I was desiring as I walked over there was to “feel” it deeply. I wanted to be solely focused on that time. I took a cue from a new friend here from when I saw her walk it earlier in the week and I wanted to do the same. So I started walking in on the shaded black mulch and felt so very connected to the path as I felt the wood and mulch on my bare feet. I had my hands wide open as I walked and felt a warmth in my palms almost as if someone was holding my hands. As I continued to walk, I came across the areas of the path that were in full sunlight and found them to be (obviously) warmer. But as I took each step on those sections of the path, it felt as if the heat from the mulch was radiating all the way up my legs into my torso and down my arms into my palms. And then came the areas of shade once again and there was relief. But the hottest part of the path was the last section and the walk into the center of the labyrinth. It felt like the closer I came to Christ the hotter the path got. But that’s how it is with our faith – we are approaching the Holy, the ultimate Truth, the fullest Love. It is like the word about Aslan, “Aslan isn’t safe, but he is good.”
As soon as I entered into the center though, I walked into the shade and sat down in the shade of this beautiful tree. I sat not on one of the seats but instead on the mulch and I picked up handfuls to feel the center in a physical, tangible way. I felt a deep sense of calm and serenity there in the center. I felt peace and an abiding comfort. It was a holy place and a holy time. Probably 20 minutes passed as I passed that mulch around in my hands before I stood up to walk out.
Walking out was not easy either. I had to walk those same hot sections of the path just as I had walking in. This time, however, the message I heard and felt was how walking away from the center, the heart was not easy to do and didn’t feel like the right thing to do. The place that I wanted to be was back in the center. I wanted to feel the peace, the comfort, the coolness, the groundedness of the center. I wanted to stay in that place but I know that God doesn’t only reside in the center of a prayer labyrinth but all around. Thanks be to God.