Would you believe it has been 6 years since I wrote about the Labyrinth? It hasn’t been that long since I went to it, but it has been that long since I was inspired to write a message. Today’s trip wasn’t planned. I saw the turn off to the street and thought, you know what… so I did. I am glad I did.
What is the Labyrinth?
I’ve written a couple of inspirational blog posts about it in year past. You can do a search on my site for it and read up on them. The Labyrinth is an elaborate walking path on the grounds of my church. You walk it for a spiritual journey and to have some meditative quiet time with our Lord. He has shared His wisdom with me more than once while I walked it and today was yet another insightful message.
Our church’s Labyrinth is a circle, outlined by rocks and the pathway is crushed granite. About 4-5 places where you take a turn it is decorated with the shape of a chalice outlined with rock and filled with a colorful blue broken glass. It shimmers and shines in the sunlight and always draws my eyes to it.
What is a chalice?
A tall, wine goblet shaped drinking cup. The Holy Chalice, also known as the Holy Grail, is in Christian tradition the vessel that Jesus used at the Last Supper to serve wine. In this Labyrinth, the chalice is just a shape outlined with medium sized rocks and filled in with the blue glass pieces. To me, the blue glass is representative of the living waters of Christ. Filling our cup, over-flowing our cup, but IN us, nonetheless. This particular chalice may have a ton of leaves and pollen on it, but that is just the weight we bear as we survive in this world over time.
Today, before stepping onto the path, I emptied my mind and asked the Lord to open my ears and heart to what he wants me to hear. I began walking, waiting for some spiritual guidance to illuminate my mind, and instead, the OCD in me noticed some of the blue broken glass pieces had been scattered on my pathway. Someone, something – a deer, who knows, had kicked a few of the smaller stones out of the line of the chalice shape, and over the course of rainy days, strong winds, or probably even hooves, had kicked bits of the blue out of its designated area. The sunlight shimmered on all of the rogue bits of blue and it made me think.
Our country today, politics today, health disagreements, teaching our children, race issues, our dividedness… is like this broken chalice. We’re broken. We’ve been kicked apart, opened up, in a way that our blue glass pieces are sprinkling out. We’re dripping living water as we go about our lives and we don’t even know it. We’re not insightfully sprinkling it on those nearest us, hoping their faith will grow like our houseplants – No. We are leaking. We are a toxic oil spill leaving our residue everywhere we go and no one understands why it’s there. It’s just leaving messes that no one wants to clean up.
Worse yet, with the crack in the chalice, we can’t even fill back up again. We keep leaking and we’re getting emptier by the day. Church is supposed to help mend our brokenness but with political division, racial tension, social distancing, online viewing, and a million other somewhat valid reasons, we aren’t being fixed. Fellowship has been replaced by fear. Prayer has been replaced by demands. Common sense has been replaced by tyranny. And unfortunately, that brokenness, that emptiness, it is spreading like a plague.
Maybe that is why there is so much hate, so many people divided, such a lack of decency, compassion, caring. People are at their wits ends. We disagree and we are getting violent about it. We used to be able to listen to both sides and meet in the middle but, I personally feel, the other side has forgotten how to do that. They forgot to turn the other cheek. They forgot that other’s perspectives are still valid and they are pushing their way or the highway.
Our world is not in a good place right now and we need to do something to fix it.
Feeling helpless, like I am one person, what can I do? I looked at this chalice and made a decision. I didn’t have the time to fix the others. I couldn’t clean out the leaves and pollen because I just didn’t have the right tools with me, but there WAS a little something I could do.
I fixed the chalice.
I put the rocks back in place, fixing the outline. It may not have been be done artistically, but the brokenness was closed. Then I, one-by-one, picked up each blue piece of glass in the general vicinity and placed it back in the chalice, refilling it – even if it was just a small amount.
I’m not God. I can’t fill it or overflow it, I don’t have the extra pieces to make that happen, but I took a step towards renewal. I hope, that maybe you too can find your own symbolic chalice and find a way to mend it, so you aren’t leaking any longer. Then I pray you find a way to let God fill you back up again. Maybe if we aren’t all oozing hate and anger, we will be able to see each other as what we are; family, and fix what is broken in our world.