Tucked between two streets just behind the Vanderbilt campus in Nashville is a jewel of gothic architecture. Once known as Scarritt College, but now as the Scarritt-Bennett Center, the limestone buildings and towering old trees create a quiet space in a busy city.
On a sunny fall day I found a parking space on the street, grabbed my camera and strolled the sidewalks looking for a spiritual space within the campus. Nearing a large open space I saw a pattern in the grass lined with bricks. This was the place!
A labyrinth, for Christians, a space created originally on the grounds of medieval cathedrals to substitute for pilgrimages to the Holy Land or some other sacred place. How fitting to find a labyrinth in the shade of a nearly 100 year old chapel!
The labyrinth is a symbol for a spiritual journey; walking the path provides a means for meditation and prayer. As you walk to the center, clear your mind of outside distractions and focus on the rhythm and path your feet follow. There are no tricks; this is not a maze.
When I reach the center, I stand as if I have reached down to the center of my heart. What do I have for God or about God in my center?
This feels like the space where my seeds of faith reside (see Friday’s post). This is the time to give thanks for the people in my life who planted the seeds. After 65 years of living, I have many people to thank God for!
Carrying a seed packet with names written on the paper seeds helps me remember some of the people in my life. This circular walk reminds me of connections in our lives to so many people. So many family members have passed on from this life; their worship in tiny country church buildings in Kentucky form the inner circle of my faith. The small churches where Daddy preached and those faithful members laid my childhood foundation. Daddy and Mama’s strong influence on my choice of a Christian college add another circle.
And on it goes, the story of my faith.
This morning I sent a card to a dear friend whose mother finished her journey here, and they buried her today. I reminded Belinda of the seeds of faith her parents put in her heart so many years ago and how those seeds have grown into a garden of wider circles. She planted seeds in her children, and now she plants seeds in her grandchildren. This seed planting is all about faith, “from first to last, just as it is written, ‘The righteous will live by faith”‘.(Romans 1:17)
So many times we don’t see the fruits of our labors, thus, faith guides us to keep planting.
Counting the joys of April 1
- the sound of a lawn mower reminds me the weather has turned to spring
- the blooming pear tree like little puffs of popcorn out my office window
- the multi-shades of green weeds that look like a quilt if you cross your eyes!
- Christ the Lord is risen — Indeed!