Posted by: JennyRain | June 9, 2010

Safe Places

I am a church girl.

Have been since I was little.

On Sunday mornings my parents would scoop me up and carry me to Catholic church.

I would sit in the mahogany brown wooden pews and stare up at the larger-than-life stained glass scenes of Jesus and His disciples and Moses and the Israelites.

As incense curled into smoke trails, I followed its lead around the Stations of the Cross.

I remember sitting on the edge of the pew with my Catholic-school classmates swinging-legs excited about story time.

That time in the service when the Priest gingerly cracked-open the story-book and recreated the magnificent adventures of that man they called Jesus.

Staring wide-eyed with expectancy, my hands grasped the edges of the pew to pull me up and forward so I could enter into the story as the Priest read…

“Would there be bread and fish by the time Jesus got to me?” I wondered as I sat on the hill waiting my lunch and listening as Jesus spoke.
“Would we make it through the storm?” I feared as I watched water lap over the edges of our boat and suck our oars into the lake, “How could Jesus sleep through all this? Didn’t he care about me?”

Church is where I first experienced the holiness of wonder.

As an adult, church still has that effect on me.

I still love entering into sacred spaces where God’s heart dwells.

For me, church is fellowship. Church is sacred. Church is the people. Church is a place.

Church is my safe place.

It always has been, since I was little. This place that was always there, it always received me – no matter what condition my heart was in – and it always gave me an avenue of hope.

Where is your safe place?

The place you can go to:

Retreat
Engage
Experience wonder
Connect to God
Connect to self
Connect to others
Suffer
Rejoice
Dream
Hope

In all of its broken glory, for me that safe place is church.

Shhh… do you hear it? God is inviting you into your safe place today. Will you join Him there?

 

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Responses

  1. I love church too.. Especially the older ones. the old pews with risers always bring back memories.

    I love me some ocean and beaches because of the vastness.

    I love a coffeehouse bubbling over with people, it gives me a reason to pray.

  2. oops, hit send to fast.

    Thank you for allowing me sit here and think of all my favorite places to feel Him as I try to get off the couch to go to work LOL.

    I love my safe places.

  3. I’m no longer Catholic, left that long ago, but still find one of the most peaceful, tranquil places to be in the older, large Catholic churches where silence is expected, and whispers as loud as you would dare to speak, especially early before a mass when only a few are there. I still feel a strong connection to God there in that quiet. Great post!

  4. Yes, I hear it… I’m just about to retreat to my safe place… The Bath, Coffee, and the Word (love it there).

  5. Now that you bring it up…I’m not sure I have a safe place. I’ll have to ponder this.

  6. My den. Which is just a recreation of my childhood safe place, the boiler room in my parent’s basement. I wrote about it last year on my blog.

  7. I wish I felt this way about a church “building”. For me, it’s a place called Oglebay. A majestic park of rolling hills back in my hometown. I used to go there to write, cry , pray and God always meets me there. Although I’m out in nature, I feel safely surrounded by Gods peace there. Looking forward to some tome there in a few weeks

    • OOO – your place sounds beautiful… take lots of pictures 🙂

  8. Mmmm. Right now seems a bit accurate. Album Leaf playing through iTunes, rain slapping the windows, thoughts pouring through and my Bible at the ready. Love moments like this. 🙂

    • ahhhh…. I got a tangible feeling of peace from this 🙂 love it!

  9. I’ve never really been church with walls kinda person. My times of most connecting with the Lord have been walking on cobble stone streets, journaling at Starbucks, sunset runs, long plane rides, and REI (alright just jokes, but I love that store!)

    I know that feeling safe is no small thing for you. I’m so glad you have a place of exhale.

    • I know girl – our convo last week got me thinking about all this 🙂 I love that church can be different things for everyone – you know? That’s what its supposed to be 🙂

  10. Hi Jenny,
    What a deep and stirring question. It is great that you asked it, as I had to think this one out. I was a church guy all my life, I find much comfort when at church with my brothers/sisters, and my small group. But, you are all my church too. Here, as we write our devotions and read each others devotions, there is a special warmness, because it is an acceptance of our souls. Here, we are not judged by our mannerisms,our pains, our pasts, our looks, our status, our Spirituality, but only by what comes from the Spirit through us. It is just God, the Spirit, the scriptures, and us. Sometimes we post something funny with no lesson or study value, and we see a larger glimpse of each other. This is a safe place for many of us I think. God Bless
    Jim


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