I want to share three faith lessons that I experienced a few weeks ago at a prayer labyrinth. I’ve written about labyrinths before (more than a few times) but I think I have (so far) found my favorite labyrinth. It is at The Springs in Indiana where I was on retreat for four days a few weeks ago. Their prayer labyrinth is cut out of this large meadow and is very unusual because the path one walks is not the gravel (which is normally the case) but instead the grass. So, walking the path is not rough and crunchy but instead soft and gentle. I have walked many labyrinths before barefoot partly because I wanted to have the fullness of connection with the ground and that has often resulted in a few pain points here and there. But this one, it is a walk in the grass. So, insight number one – yes the path that we follow can be a difficult one but it is also one following the one who carries our burdens and never leaves us.
Insight number two – the detail. I talked to one of the folks who run The Springs about how much care goes into keeping this labyrinth like this and he shared that someone goes out there a few times a week and pulls the pieces of grass that start to grow in the gravel parts and then REPLANTS them in the center or other places where the grass needs to grow. It isn’t that those pieces are just tossed but instead replanted – they are given new life. They also have to go out there several times a week to trim the grass to keep it looking as it does. How beautiful is that? I am in a Bible study with folks from our congregation studying the Sermon on the Mount and part of that teaching is about God’s care from the lilies of the field to the sparrow that flies to each of us. God cares about the details as well as the big picture.
And finally, and maybe most significantly for me, this labyrinth isn’t set apart from the rest of the meadow. Most labyrinths that I have walked are clearly “different” from what is around them – they are different types of rock or stone that are in the middle of a grassy area or they have walls around them to mark off where the labyrinth is. This one is just a part of the meadow. It is actually a little difficult to even see it until you get closer to it. And as you walk from the meadow to the prayer path, there’s no divider. It is just walking right into the circle. As people following the way of Jesus, that way is in the world. It is not something other than the world. It is not our own little Christian bubbles that we form but instead it is how we are being Jesus followers right in our neighborhoods, communities, and cities. It is how Jesus works right in the middle of our messy and beautiful lives.
Thank you for this path.