The October chill gave way Monday afternoon to a warmth and soft glow emanating from a cloudless central Kentucky sky. I fell asleep beneath a friendly tree overlooking a pond. I haven’t slept outside in my clothes, on the ground, with no agenda since childhood.
It was glorious.
The Youth Ministry and Young Adults Cabinet (YMYAC)–a regional team of ministers who focus on children, youth, and young adults assembled by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Kentucky–gathered for an annual retreat at the Loretto Motherhouse near Loretto, KY. I was grateful for a beautiful opportunity to recenter myself around stillness as expressed in the biblical injunction “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46).
The 5 of us who gathered shared meals together, laughed, conversed, lamented, and took time to ourselves to rest, reflect, and read. I finished a fascinating book, Pluralism, by William Connoley, which I hope to comment on in a later blog post.
I also walked to a nearby pond at the edge of a forest. I enjoyed the sounds of turtles plunging into the water, birds singing, grasshoppers fluttering and flinging about, and creatures crunching through the brush. In this setting I could feel my spirit and soul re-creating. The ever-creative Spirit of God filled the sensorium around me, somehow, someway touching the frayed ends, chipped edges, and stagnant currents of my life.
No instant healing or final perfection was attained. But my attentiveness to God’s Spirit in me, around me, and with me was reinvigorated. Which, I suspect, is a trace of the ongoing healing power of God.
Only a 24 hour retreat. Still, a soul, my soul, was nourished and re/created.