Sacred Service

“It sounds like you are talking about a church focused on social justice,” one member of the meeting offers up.

Another member contributes his perspective, “What is interesting about the issue of social justice is that you can work it from both a progressive and/or conservative position, which almost cancel each other out politically, though the theological information you have provided makes it sound like your childhood  church was progressive.”

Spirituality

While attending a meeting, I happen into the roiling sea of words.  At home and around most of the edges of my life, there is a full and beautiful silence through which clear guidance charts the course of my days.  At the moment, my head is swamped with compound word choices, which only partially describe what I observed and experienced in the church of my upbringing.

Social justice?  No.  Social action?  Closer.  Social service within community-at-large.  Better.  Yet, in terms of an accurate set of word descriptors, we are still not there.

Then, later in the evening, the first speaker continues, “The problem that I have with ‘social justice’ is that I lose,” there is a long pause in search of the best descriptive words, “I guess—the sense of piety that I enjoy in most other circumstances.”

At home, I contemplate all of the possible labels I have been presented with, which are like a drawer full of inadequate stickers for the way in which my life has been unfolding.  I feel a tremendous amount of compassion for my pious friend and something of an answer percolating through about three hours after I have arrived home and dumped out my word bag.

When we are securely seated in the space of our highest Light and guidance comes through for us to move with the support of the Spirit, there is no absence or loss of piety when we engage in spiritual or sacred service.  Sacred service sustains piety, affirms life, holds compassion, allows for forgiveness and upholds Grace.

Sacred Space & Intimacy

Sometimes, when I am preparing food in the kitchen, my husband comes in with a book and sits down to read to me.  If I am not being read to while preparing food, my husband might read to me over a hot breakfast or while we are riding together in the truck on a long road trip.  We usually have two or three books going, so there are subject options depending upon the place we find ourselves.

As it turns out, this tradition of reading together is a key component in building a sense of continuity and thematic commonality within the passage of our days and the context of our relationship.  Reading and being read to is a habit which developed early in our being together.  And, finding the appropriate parameters for receipt and extension  of such a gift took time.

Spirituality

One morning, very early in our relationship, my husband trotted innocently in to read to me while I was in the middle of a steaming bath.  Not very skilled at setting boundaries in this new relationship, I rudely sent him packing with his stack of books and several words of frustration.  It was a moment of learning. The first thing I learned was that my solo bath time is sacrosanct.  Ablutions are much more than a matter of physical cleanliness; ablutions are a gateway to  spiritual preparedness for an entire day.  Thus, bath-time needs to remain private and free from words.

Each of us possesses a space or an activity that is somehow sacrosanct—whether it is working in the wood shop on Sunday afternoon, a private yoga practice or a solo walk in the woods.  Individual, internal communion grants us the ability to become intimate—with ourselves.  And, it is only when we have achieved intimacy within that we are able to move forward in wholeness toward a relationship of  intimacy with someone else.