Living Water, who flows over and through our lives,
Serenity spreads through our bodies as we soak in your silent Presence. Each breath releases a wave of renewal. Draw us to the source of your merciful love. Give us wisdom to live in the balance of emptiness and sufficiency. Send us out, today, so that the invisible is made visible. Amen.
Author of Our Story, who invites us into deep mystery,
As this night falls and a stillness fills the air, we remember how often we are interrupted by storms, fearful and frustrated. Guide us gently into this space of slowing, this time of darkness. As we connect more closely to your Presence, diminish the distance we keep from others. Build in our hearts, fires where others can come to gather for warmth. Give us opportunities to bring hope to neighbors, working alongside one another to clear away paths that are impassable. Persist in us until all paths to wholeness are open. Amen.
Giver of Goodness, who refreshes our lives with grace and mercy,
Steady our souls in this stillness. With each morning dawn your Presence enfolds us in layers of loving-kindness and the chill of our separation is replaced with the warmth of assurance. Fill us with compassion and increase our courage to take down the walls that keep others frozen and left out. Open the doors that make our true dwelling place in you. Amen.
The bottom of the barrel is where the food rots. It’s smelly. The bottom of the barrel appears more empty than full. The bottom of the barrel is dark. No one wants whatever is in the bottom of the barrel.
Why is it that it seems that the bottom of the barrel, the most illogical place to find riches, is where we find God?
Sometimes we have to move toward the illogical in order to find the riches there. The labyrinth is a pathway of prayer. In Chartres, France, there is a well-known labyrinth. This labyrinth was created with a mathematical formula that uses the human body to teach the soul. It causes you to turn left when you think you should be turning right, it takes you far from the center when you think you are closest to the center. It is a learning experience for our bodies to do the work of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit moves in unpredictable ways. Jesus taught, “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.” (John 3:8a) To align our bodies with the movement of the Spirit will take us to places we never expected to go. When walking the labyrinth, an openness to possibility is essential. That means moving toward something we are not attracted to, it means moving toward places that don’t seem familiar. Our souls learn important truths as our bodies move in alignment with the Spirit.
Are we open to taking the thing that is at the bottom of the barrel and making our lives about that? Maybe the thing that is at the bottom of the barrel is the thing that counts the most. It might be the bottom of the barrel that takes us to the riches God intends for our lives, and my friends, we don’t want to miss that!