I used to have a sacred place. Or so I thought.
Stained-glass windows. The choir. The organ. The Text. The sermon. The prayers. The wine. The bread. The worship.
Sundays, for at least 40 of my 50 years, found me in church. Not always with the best of intentions: under duress or carried by routine, later a pastor’s wife and expected. But other times willing, waiting, hoping, praying; aching to encounter anything/anyone that would make sense of my life, help me feel connected, significant, whole; that would quell my heart’s resistance.
This Sunday I sit before a computer instead of a cross.
No duress or routine. No expectations or dogma. No should’s or ought’s. No rules or guilt. Fully accessible without the harried hustle out the door in uncomfortable clothes worn once a week; containing frazzled nerves and emotions before stepping through heavy, carved doors that shut out down hearts which dare to resist.
A heart that dares to resist is a sacred place.
A heart that dares to resist trusts the still, small voice within. Makes courageous, oft’ tiny and ever-consistent choices within a single day. Holds on to desire at any cost – letting nothing dampen, dissuade, or destroy its faith-fullness. Knows and trusts itself as a sacred place.
Nurturing, enlivening, and protecting a heart that dares to resist is the strongest, bravest Renegade act of all.
We wildly sling open every door in our frantic search for meaning. In a panicked rush, we search for the answer, any answer, nearly always looking outside ourselves. Relationships. Appearance. Work. Parenting. Academic degrees. Sex. Success. Money. And yes, religion. We want a 3-step plan that will “fix” our lives. And we want it now.
But none satisfy. At least for long.
This is why our hearts are hungry, restless, insatiable, dissatisfied. This is why we seek after the sacred…
Your sacred [place] is where you can find yourself again and again. ~ Joseph Campbell
You will find yourself when you look within, not without; when you look to and worship your beating, thrumming, constant, coursing, strong, unstoppable heart.
Your heart: It beats – fervently. It loves – passionately. It guides – inexorably. And its resistance to all things that threaten to shame, shut-down, or silence, deserves your highest attention, tender care, and the most glorious of angelic choirs. It is a sacred place.
It can be trusted.
I used to have a sacred place. Or so I thought. Now I know.
As I hit “publish” this Sunday afternoon, I am aware of the deeply ingrained heritage of both story and strength that religion has offered me. It has also silenced and shamed, shaping and companioning my heart while simultaneously energizing my strongest resistance. This struggle, this journey is not unique to me. It is the place in which most of us know chronic ambivalence; we fight against it, are drawn to it, and feel intolerably frustrated when stuck in the middle. Religion can confuse and even wound.
Spirituality however, living from a sacred place, heals. It invites ever-deepening meaning and purpose, the development of a deep, almost mystic-like approach to life, and the connection to something much larger.
One of the most Renegade-inducing experiences of my life was behind-the-scenes, years-long dialogue with a prophet-like, powerful crone of a woman. Her wisdom and perspective proved exactly on-target for what my heart most needed to hear. She shut some doors and opened others. She invited me home…to my heart…to a sacred place.
I am privileged to be able to do the same. I feel like a crone, actually; a story-wizened woman with years of experience, eyes that see, and a heart that resists on behalf of others. SacredConversation is a relational context through which I get to offer that to you; where faith (no matter your belief or lack thereof) is considered, turned, questioned, pursued. Where new metaphors, new stories, new hopes are created and birthed.
- If you are resistant to or have been harmed by religion, but experience an undefined pull, spiritual direction might be for you.
- If you are hungry for a spirituality that will integrate with and empower your everyday life, spiritual direction might be for you.
- If you long for a safe space in which you can voice both doubts and certainties with no ramifications or risks, spiritual direction might be for you.
These are the conversations I love to have.