by Syd Brinkman
In the July/August edition of Gather magazine, Linda Post Bushkofsky reflects on sacred spaces. Linda writes that her friend has an area set aside for meditation and prayer that equips her to handle better what the day might bring.
Linda (executive director of Women of the ELCA) describes favorite items of hers on a home shelf that bring back good memories. At the end of the article, she asks, “How do you encounter the sacred in your life?”
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What evokes a sacred space for us is not cookie cutter.
I once heard a speaker say that a workshop on sacred space is difficult to lead because each person’s space is personal. There is no right or wrong area that gives you peace and a feeling of being in a sacred area.
How can you create your sacred space?
I’m going to tell you about a few spaces that are sacred for me. None are fancy, but each speaks sacred to me. They order my day.
For example, one is the view in my shower. As I stand most mornings with the water running over me, I’m grateful for the experience of water that many do not enjoy. My view is a shelf of shells.
My favorite is one with a blue stone in it. That shell reminds me daily of the gift of baptism and the baptismal promises made for me as an infant. When I think of how I live out those promises every day, I envision water washing over me, cleansing and renewing.
A second sacred space is my porch swing. It faces the morning sun and warms my soul on days when I’m not up to facing the world. It helps me to re-focus.
Another favorite porch spot is a gathering place for friends, conversations and children’s play—all of which are sacred to me.
The final sacred space is my office and the special items it holds–like prayer shawls given to me when I needed prayers to wrap me and hold me tight. I couldn’t survive each day without the sentiments they hold. Then there are the mementos of many women I’ve met in my life.
These spaces are my encouragement: their valiant boldness, their never-ending stories, their shared wisdom.
Where do you find a space that is close to your heart?
Syd Brinkman of Allison, Iowa, served two terms on the Women of the ELCA executive board, from 2008-2014. Always in need of a sacred space, Brinkman is a self-employed cosmetologist serving the Northeastern Iowa Synod in various capacities. The photo is of Syd’s front porch swing.You can find free, downloadable resources on discovering Sacred Spaces here.