Water and a Towel…

Tonight, there is a small space to breathe.
Two weeks of community life,
of learning and stretching and worshiping,
of eating together 
and wondering together 
and praying together.
Two weeks of being fed and nourished 
and overwhelmed by grace.
Two weeks of moving through the days 
to the sound of bells, 
finding a rhythm of love and 
answering an invitation 
to the 
deeper recesses of the inner life.
Tonight, we moved away from the left side of our brains,
those cognitive parts of us that have been seriously stretched 
with three to four lectures almost every day,
and we welcomed the Holy Spirit to speak to us 
through the right side, 
the imaginative, creative, symbolic side.
A Service of Reconciliation, they called it.
An invitation to any one (or all) of three stations, 
all of them symbolizing our need 
for deep healing, 
for forgiveness, 
for movement toward our whole selves 
and the fullness of Grace.
A line of eight basins, each with a stack 
of small white towels beside it. 
Six sets of two chairs facing each other  – 
three in the front of the chapel for confession, 
three in the rear for healing prayer.
Five of our group moved gracefully down the aisle 
as this time of quiet began, 
gently moving to the music provided 
by our gifted leaders, 
a song of hope and grace and forgiveness.
And then we sat in the candlelight and waited.
Waited for the Spirit to move us to one another and to God.
Two different women asked if they could wash my feet 
and I humbly accepted.
Do you know what a deeply loving act this is?
The gentle touch of cleansing and comfort and presence, 
of prayers and blessings offered over these 
large and weary feet – 
it is rare and wonderful to feel loved in such a way.
I am humbled.
I am grateful.
I am full to overflowing.

Because I don’t know when I’m going to have another breather in the next few days, I’m going to post this small reflection at as many places as I can think of so that I don’t fall through too many cracks after these last, very busy three weeks. Between our family wedding celebration, these two wonderful weeks of being stretched and filled while in training for spiritual direction, and leaving on vacation in 8 days, this is a crazy busy time. Very hard to adjust to after a quiet first six months of retirement!! So I’ll sign on with these dear friends, as many of them as have their links still open, and apologize to each of them and to each of you for the overkill.  I’ll try not to do this too often!
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Comments

  1. This beautiful post reminds me of a song I love by Michael Card . . . The Basin and The Towel. I think you would love it.

    Thanks for taking time out of your busy summers end, to give us this glimpse into what you are experiencing.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

  2. Wonderful to hear from you during this busy, blessed time!

    Linda

  3. It is so, so hard to allow people to wash my feet, figuratively and literally. But then, how can one turn down a request borne of such love and devotion?

  4. Beautiful to love, beautiful to be loved, beautiful to love to be loved, beautiful to love knowing that someone you love loves being loved by you…and the circles get wider and wider…

    Lovely post. Here from Emily’s.

  5. what a powerful demonstration of love. thank you so much for sharing it, friend. xo

  6. My heart is filled just reading this. Overwhelmed. Praying you find refreshment as you vacation and time to simply rest and reflect on these last weeks. Hugs to you, my friend.

  7. Really beautiful, restful and contemplative, Diana. And the “overkill” is fine by me! 🙂

  8. This makes me breathe deep and sigh long. What a blessing these times are–time we set aside to tune our hearts to God and just listen. Sounds so wonderful. I hope things settle down soon! I know you’ve been crazy busy. But it’s all good, right?

  9. Ah, Diana, you brought me right into that service as you described it so fully, and with such devotion.

    Thank you, thank you.

  10. A foot-washing in a very humbling thing, isn’t it? We do this as a family every Holy Week. I love to be the foot-washer, but it’s very hard for me to allow someone to wash my feet.

    In the same way, I’m much more eager to give, then to receive in general day-to-day activities.

    But God is constantly reminding me: “If you don’t receive by allowing others to ‘wash your feet,’ you’re denying them the opportunity to extend grace.”

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