Have just returned from one of those places that friends and I call 'the Thin places'. Places where design and prayer and purpose have collided to create a space where touching the hem of the Divine seems so very, easy. And, God knows, we need those spots because life has become so crowded, so noisy, so crazy, that we can't hear ourselves when we speak much less the whisper of the Lord.
Granted, it takes some work to get there. Think about it. It takes work to get to the store, to carve out space to go to a park, to wrestle your to-do lists out of your way so that you can walk right out your front door for a walk to be alone with your thoughts and the righteous wind.
Nevertheless, do it. Just do it. Do it. And, I say again, do it.
Part the red seas if you please to make room in your life for such as this. For three days or a week at Laity or a place like it. Although, at the moment I'm having a bit of a 'like it' block. If you check Laity's website and their schedule you'll discover a wide variety of renewal type retreats from centering prayer to discussion on the creativity and the arts, retreats for men, for women, for kids (see camps and family camp). And the kind of permission to rest that only comes from people being willing to trust God to work things out with people in their time and trust people to have sense enough to know if they need a nap in their room with a good book, art class, or a hike.
I was honored to be one of the speakers at this weeks women's retreat (Ronda Lowry was the other speaker who is a long standing visitor to Laity) and enjoyed the fact that although they had brought me in to speak, they gave me permission to rest, to reflect, to wander and to be myself. To actually retreat in the middle of my 'working' if you will. Sad thing is - If I hadn't been booked to speak I wouldn't have taken that time I so desperately needed. But, I was.
So, I did.
I watched a talent show which included a very, special golden girl dedicating a tap-dance to me. Now, you can't get that just anywhere. And, it was a special gift based on my story of losing a 3rd grade talent show to a girl tap dancing in a tutu. Things come full circle.
I visited the library and plucked my favorites from the shelves, reading in amazement of the authors who had visited before me. Who had found their muse at Laity. I gathered stacked of books from the bookstore where they - get this - let you borrow a book or buy a book. I stuck my feet in the beautiful blue hole springs, made new friends for life, listened to, no lost myself completely in, an Ashley Cleveland concert, and walked out in the dark under the stars to the special installation known as the Threshold where I lay on the stone and looked up at the sky watching shooting stars.
Most importantly, I came back renewed. Refreshed. Down right - Resurrected.
I got up this morning and put on Ashley's cd God Don't Never Change, (think traditional black gospel, rock, blues. Think four-time grammy award winner) And then . . .