Everyone needs a place they can go to. To reflect, be calm, pray, and just think on life. A sanctuary.
For a mom with two special needs kids I crave a magical few moments where I'm not changing more poop, vomit, dishing out medication, calling doctors, and running a million child related errands, A place where I can just breathe and release.
My sanctuary is a place I look forward to going to every week. I don't always make it there. We've had a lot of sickness and trauma upset these last few months so the time I go is very precious to me. We try to get there though every Sunday.
When we get there we take the kids to their classes. Marvin bounds in and tries to sneak up on his teacher (with lots of noise). He loves going. Cary Lynn is wheeled like the queen of Sheeba into her room and is greeted with smiles, touches, and genuine gladness that she is there. I'm so glad my children have found a space that they love.
We go up, I smile and say hi, get my bulletin and sit down. And just breathe. I open it up, but truthfully half of the time I'm not even reading it. I just am taking that brief and precious few minutes that rarely come my way. Moments of quiet, reflection on the week, and thoughts of my busy life. Moments of pride and shame. A resolve to do better or happiness with how things turned out. I need this time and these moments.
That's just part of what I need. I also need a diverse community. My sanctuary has that. I look around. I see diversity. People dressed in beautiful saris sit next to people in suits and jeans. People that come from different places all together for a singular purpose.
My sanctuary also has people of different abilities. We have a thriving special needs ministry. The adult special needs community is in our service. They are part of it. They perform in the choir, and take the offering. They are accepted and loved. In moments when their actions don't match what should happen no one points, stares rudely, or makes dumb comments. They are a vital part of what we are about.
We also have children. They are welcomed. You don't see people shushing them. When a little girl a few moths ago recited a prayer in her super loud and confident voice and got part of it wrong no one said, "Geeze, can't you keep your kid quiet or teach her to pray right!" The mother got tons of compliments and an elderly woman got a little misty about it. (I think the mom was a bit embarrassed but the kid thought she was a rock star:) ). My sanctuary understand that children are the future and that they should be cherished and encouraged.
This is my place. It's a very special one to me. I find rest and my soul is lightened. My hope is that you are able to find your own sanctuary as well. We all need a place to go.