When you go visit prayers stations in the midst of space week…
We’ve been busy cutting out our planets to create the solar system on the dining room wall. Sadly, the seascape came down. My son lamented that the poor octopus was “so sad” to be replaced.
There is a time and season for everything. The Prayer stations Wednesday at Emmanuel United Methodist Church in Laurel were a good reminder of the emotional stopovers we take. After visiting the “Anger Zone,” my daughter and I had a talk about the fact that anger comes every day in some way. Some days are more frustrating that others.
Next, my daughter enjoyed the chance to write: “Love is peace,” she scrawled on a heart and strung it to a tree. We all liked standing under the umbrella, appreciating the momentary chance to gather in the protective space. And there was the well where we held rocks and thought about what we hold onto when we are hurt, and the invitation to let go or forgive.
And then of course, the “Silly Walk Zone.” We are old pros after creating several ourselves this summer. We got dizzy following the rainbow. We then walked the length of the cemetery. We talked of dying; I read from the tombstones as we passed. I remembered also that there was a sign on the front of the church with number of Howard County COVID19 deaths: 96. There was the grieving tree. We wrote Cousin Debby’s name on a ribbon and my daughter tied it to the tree. Debby died this week suddenly. So heartbreaking.
Lastly, there was the little labyrinth at the path’s end. The kids both bounced along eager to reach the middle.
The summer sun was heating up on this earth and who knows where else in the solar system. It flared into another day of living and dying. The Spirit shone with it, into our heaviness and our healing. And we felt our prayers stretch so far beyond what we can see, past what we can imagine, to the bounds of the universe. Flung from the third rock from the sun, we balled our anger, joys, laments, and laughter together. And we were encircled by the host of saints who have gone before. A brightness bigger than our fear.
Thank you, Emmanuel UMC.