February 20, 2013

Finding safe and sacred spaces

By James Townsend, vice president of enrollment management and marketing

When you were growing up, where did you go when you were afraid? Did you hide under your bed or behind the clothes in your closet? Did you feel safer inside or outside your house, in your room or another room?

For many of us the place we would run and hide was into the arms of a family member – often our mother or father. We felt no shame, all we knew is that we were afraid and needed a place to go for love, not judgment. While we may not have realized it at the time, these places and people became a sacred space for us – a place where the noise of the world is muffled, the flashes of lightning were hidden, and the arms and warmth of another human being insulated the coldness of the outside world.

So where is your safe place today? Do you have a sacred place where you feel protected from the dangers of the world? Have you found someone who will hold you and protect you from danger? God, our Creator and Sustainer of life, is right in front of you with arms wide open, calling your name to come as you are, in whatever condition you are in to be loved and cared for. If you’re like me, knowing this causes shouts of praises to God for the unconditional love and blessings and a desire to live a life that honors God to the fullest.

May the text from today’s readings be a reminder of how much you are loved by God no matter where you are today on your journey. Do not be ashamed, but lift your head high for the Lord God loves you dearly!

Of David.
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid? When evildoers assail me
to devour my flesh—
my adversaries and foes—
they shall stumble and fall. Though an army encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear;
though war rise up against me,
yet I will be confident. One thing I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
to live in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the Lord,
and to inquire in his temple. For he will hide me in his shelter
in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will set me high on a rock. Now my head is lifted up
above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord.
Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud,
be gracious to me and answer me!
‘Come,’ my heart says, ‘seek his face!’
Your face, Lord, do I seek.
Do not hide your face from me.
Do not turn your servant away in anger,
you who have been my help.
Do not cast me off, do not forsake me,
O God of my salvation!
If my father and mother forsake me,
the Lord will take me up.
Teach me your way, O Lord,
and lead me on a level path
because of my enemies.
Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries,
for false witnesses have risen against me,
and they are breathing out violence.
I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!



Comments (5)

  1. Amen. Thanks be to God..

    Mary Bontrager February 20, 2013 |
  2. Very comforting! To be able to hide in our God is cause for much praise!

    Ruth February 20, 2013 |
  3. I love the last four words-Wait for the Lord! In this age of “instant” everything waiting is hard. But sitting still and waiting for the Lords arms to enfold us is so comforting. Thank you.

    Betty February 20, 2013 |
  4. Thanks for this wonderful word image… and reminder!

    Mandy February 20, 2013 |
  5. James, we are so proud of the articles you have written. God sent you to the right place to work and live. Thanks for the reminder, to find our safe place.

    Nancy Townsend February 23, 2013 |