I’m in the process of plodding through a course called “Sanctuary” where I’m supposed to consider stopping and listening and “being.” Trying to be a compliant student, I stopped by the local state park to find a favorite bench where I could sit and relax and breathe and “be.” The hike was farther than I remembered,, and landmarks had changed since I was last there, but I saw the top of the bench in the distance. I reached my destination only to find a giant pile of horse poo between me and the bench. Ugh. Horses aren’t even supposed to be on this trail! But … I couldn’t help smiling. Maybe this is the problem I’m having with my sanctuary course. In my world, there IS sanctuary, but it ALWAYS coexists with some sort of poo.
So there I was, poo and bench and me. Then it dawned on me. Poo is a sign of life. Dead things don’t poo. I could be disgusted and disappointed and stomp away sure that my sanctuary had been ruined. Or, I could enjoy the sanctuary I did have, poo and all. I took door “number two.” (OK, sorry, bad pun). I walked right around that poo and sat on that bench and enjoyed the red wing blackbirds, and the new growth on the cattails, and noticed the flies buzzing around me almost as if I had a bit of poo in me too. I guess that’s fair. I even discovered a new kind of bird I’ll have to google. Was the poo still there? Yes. Was it going to magically go away by me turning my back on it? No. But did it take control of my day and my sanctuary. Definitely not. I decided to observe it all, the poo, and the birds and the vegetation and the flies. I decided to leverage it as best I could – maybe even write a blog post about it.
For a person like me who always has some kind of poo hanging around, either inside or outside myself, I need a practical faith that can thrive in the midst of it all. Hmmmm, the idea of fertilizer comes to mind. I need an eye that can savor the beauty, and get a chuckle out of the rest. Perhaps I even need to take a moment to be aware of the things I normally avoid and ignore. Thanks, Lord, for a sanctuary bigger than what I was looking for.
Feeling blessed by the one “who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20)