If you know me well, you know that I have needed to learn many a lesson again—and again—and again. You may even know that there remains much that I have yet to learn—and that I pride myself on being teachable. Remaining teachable is a sought-after attitude I learned through the 12 step fellowships in which I have grown and it is a character trait for which I am grateful and by which I am humbled.
It is not easy, on a day-by-day and minute-by-minute basis to remain teachable. For one thing, I get busy and being teachable requires presence and attention and time to notice and listen and process. And then there is my ego—which left to its own devices, would have me puffed up with pride and power and confident that I know everything there is to know and have all the answers—especially at my age.
But God, who is always laughing at my plans and perceptions, regularly breaks in to my supercilious sensibility, slows me down and shows me some new wisdom and wonder—and I get blessed and learn a new thing. This week the break through came from the creativity of our other three pastors who stood on the simple foundation of the convenience of a summer Wednesday worship and then envisioned it as something much better. They slowed down and attended to the questions of what we might be called to offer as a sanctuary in the summer. They listened for how being a sanctuary would sound in the middle of the week. They imagined how collaborating in a circle might create a space that would offer the very spaciousness we seek in summer and in our spirits.
And I am here to witness to the very powerful, very important, very beautiful experience of space and spirit and soul-touching sanctuary I received when I worshiped this past Wednesday at our midweek communion and ‘summer sanctuary’. This is what happened.
We prayed and it became very quiet, despite the noise on the street outside of our space.
It was a quiet of grace and connection and it came from inside of me.
We breathed. I stretched the kinked places in my body and my soul.
And we breathed some more.
There was space…
and enough air…
and even a bit of sparkle…
We heard the word of God. Together. And it was good.
We shared… from deep within… our own creation stories…
We wondered about how we might create spaciousness for ourselves…
We whispered some songs.
We prayed for ourselves and the world and you—thoughtfully and without hurry.
We broke bread and poured wine and shared a sacred, sacred meal. We lingered. We breathed some more. We loved how easy and special and simple it was. And it was good.
I pray you might join us next week for summer sanctuary.
I promise it will be a blessing.
And you too, might learn something.
May it be so.
Rev. Wendy Miller Olapade