In her book, An Altar in the World, the Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor shares this story: “Abbot Pastor, one of the most often quoted Desert Fathers, once said, ‘If you have a chest full of clothing, and leave it for a long time, the clothing will rot inside it. It is the same with the thoughts in our heart. If we do not carry them out…(name them, speak them)…after a long while they will spoil and turn bad.'”
Isn’t this true? If we don’t have safe spaces to name the experiences, thoughts, and reactions we’re carrying around with us, they spoil and turn bad. Our bodies, as sacred vessels, are then carrying something foul and unpleasant. It’s like our refrigerators – without some attention, the leftovers go moldy, the greens go limp, and the whole fridge starts to stink.
These ancient spiritual teachings remind us that we need one another and that we need spaces to speak our truths and be heard. We need spaces where we feel welcomed, affirmed, and protected, where our light can be seen, and where we can speak our truth in love.
Where are the sacred, safe spaces in your life? Where can you speak your deepest thoughts and experiences? Are you in a Circle at church or a Wellspring Group? Maybe you’ve landed in an Examining Whiteness Circle or a Newcomer Circle, or someplace else. Maybe it’s in our “Daytime Connections” programming where you find yourself giving voice to thoughts and feelings that have been tucked away for years. As a faith community, we believe everyone needs such space, and if you’re searching for a place to give, receive, and grow with others, please reach out to Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink, our Minister of Membership and Adult Ministries, at firstname.lastname@example.org. She’d be happy to help you get connected.
Together, as a faith community, we seek to live spiritually vital lives, becoming instruments of love, compassion and justice in the world. May it be so!
I’ll see you in church,