Last night at my grad bible study we spent time in prayer and walked a labyrinth. I must admit that all day yesterday I was kind of dreading it. It was freezing outside and I had to ride the bus down to the church + I was completely exhausted because I didn't really sleep the night before. Yet once I got there I realized I really needed that time last night to reflect. So here is sort of a re-cap of what when through my head as I walked the Labyrinth:
I set off putting one foot in front of the other saying, "peace with each new step", this is something Suzanne had taught us at US-2 training and I thought it would be a good way to get focused. After a little bit I started saying, "listen, listen, listen to my heartsong, listen listen listen to my heartsong, I will never forget you I will never forake you..." also a chant we learned at training. I started to realize that the last time I had walked a labyrinth with a group was when I was at US-2 Training in NYC. We were in Queens on the hottest day of the summer in the lovely humidity of NYC (a little bit different weather situation than last night). It was before my journey here in Urbana even began. From there my mind just started flowing with considering my journey over the last few months since arriving in Urbana.
I thought back to that day in Queens, and as the sweat was dripping down my face, I looked up and saw all my fellow US-2's, my wonderful friends, my beloved community. They were walking right beside me on that same journey, even though our journeys were slightly different. As I drifted back into the present, I started to pray for each one of my US-2's...I prayed for Sarah out in Utah as she saves the world by helping fight for injustices with the homeless and poor, I prayed for Fawn in Alaska as she braves the fridgid temps and shares her love with the natives there, I prayed for Bonnie in Alabama as she works in nature to give food to people whom so desperately need it, I prayed for Elyse down in Atlanta as she works with the homeless and struggles through making sense of it all, I prayed for Carolyn up in Wisconsin as she works with women in transition and children and I can relate so much to how hard that can be, I prayed for Meg in Chicago as she works to help make people aware of workers rights and the injustices that go along with working, I prayed for Krista in Detroit as she works with the homeless and congregations to bring them together and have churches support her ministry, I prayed for Greg in Baltimore as he works throughout the community to spread love and build community. I prayed that each US-2 will feel the connection of our community, as we did on that hot day in Queens. That even though we are so far apart now, that we can somehow feel each others presence.
I opened my eyes and even for just a brief second I kinda saw each one of my US-2 family around that labyrinth and felt their presence. As their images faded away I saw new images, they were of my new friends here in Urbana. I prayed for Erin, Anthony, Josh, Kristen and Imy, and then I prayed for the ones that were not there, for Laura, Caci, Alan, Michael, Eric, and Anne. I thanked God for blessing me with all of these wonderful people in my life.
As I entered into the center of the labyrinth I sat down and I prayed over and over again, Thank you Lord for your Blessings. As I left the center and headed towards the exit path of the labyrinth I thought about how wonderful it is to be in this new place and how exciting the future can be, instead of being fearful. I asked God to bless me on the journey that is to come, thanked him for the journey that has already taken place, and asked him to keep everyone safe on their future journey.
It was a much needed time of reflection.