Sunday, August 18, 2013

unsanitized sanctuary

{via pinterest}
i'm a watcher.

when i go places, i find a corner in which to tuck myself and i start to gaze. not awkward staring, but secret studying from under long, dark lashes. it's an art, studying the world, perhaps the most education of behaviors.

:: because you learn about yourself when you look at the mirror of another's eyes.

this is why community is so important, perhaps more important than this thing of too many words, too much sentiment that trails off and runs into trivialities when we stop paying true attention. i think this is why this concept of {wild}erness appeals to me in such a soul-thudding way. it's more than just a metaphorical landscape. it's a place where the soul wanders and wrestles and clings tight.

it's amazing how many of us are holding hands, taking step after step through the wilderness together, one made of pines and one made of sand and another made of barren stone. but we're all there together.

if you have a deep scar, that is a door.
if you have an old, old story, that is a door.  
if you love the sky and the water so much you almost cannot bear it, that is a door.
:: Clarissa Pinkola Estés

we've crafted a place together, a worn and rugged sanctuary with water for washing and shelter from our individual storms. our mermaid cave with bit of preciousness, our hunting shack in the midst of the mountains. and there in the middle is a burning fire and blankets knitted to fit each of our souls, a perfect match of blue and green and white and cranberry red.

it's comforting when the world is trying to twist and turn and wipe every germ of "unclean, unclean" from the surface of faith.

why is the world obsessed with taming faith? even in the ruggedness of the mountain wilderness, somehow we always seem to pack hand sanitizer to spray all over everything, including the body of the Most High. 
{via pinterest}

we wouldn't want to get blood on the sofa. 

but He was the One that bent with a towel around His waist to wash our feet with a soft murmur of follow Me. 

there's a painted wooden sign that sits on the wooded island across the river from my sacred hideaway. i can't ever see what it says, but i like to imagine :: warning, wildness beyond this point. and outside this special sanctuary, i see a sign just like that one. 

caution :: wildness ahead

it seems to fit. He's not a tame Lion, and i want to be like Him.

so i'm curled around the fire with sisters all around in our church in the wild, a sanctuary together. and the Lion is singing a wild song to the stars.


  1. Yesyesyesyesyes. I love that Estes quote, too.

  2. I always breathe deep when I come here.

  3. I've become a watcher with age. It is a perspective I greatly appreciate. So glad I followed you at SDG.
    Peace and good to you in Jesus' name, Amen

  4. Your words amaze me, challenge me, and make me want to draw nearer and nearer to my Creator. Your words remind me...

    1. Me, too, Jen... thank you Rachel for sharing so beautifully.

  5. Dear Rachel
    Oh yes, He is not tame. C.S.Lewis captured His love and ferocity so beautifully in The Chronicles of Narnia! Ashlan, the Lion of Judah; at once a lion and a lamb. Love, love, love your words!
    Blessings XX

  6. This is beautifully written! I especially like the question "Why is the world obsessed with taming faith?" There is something about wilderness that draws us near to our Creator. I'm visiting from the SDG party. :)

  7. Gorgeous writing. Thank you for opening the door.


I look at you and see all the ways a soul can bruise, and I wish I could sink my hands into your flesh and light lanterns along your spine so you know there's nothing but light when I see you. :: Shinji Moon