Sanctuary: a place of refuge or safety.

These days, many of us yearn for the safety and refuge of sanctuary. Each day is filled with news of the upcoming election. Each day brings new numbers of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths due to COVID-19. Each day stories of parents struggling with virtual school, universities trying to keep students and staff safe, and businesses trying to make it work remind us of the changes taking place. Each day people speak truth to power on the streets and on the border. And each day we need rest, a sense of safety, and a moment to breathe.

I recently heard a song that speaks to this yearning and need. Carrie Newcomer states in the Facebook introduction of her song, Sanctuary, that it was written after a conversation she had with author and activist Parker Palmer. She writes: “I asked him, ‘What can we do when we are personally or politically heartbroken?’ He responded that we take sanctuary. We gather with those we love. We remember, we share stories or we sit in silence until we can go on. There is time for positive action, to do what needs to be done. But there are also times when we rest in the arms of what most sustains us.”

What most sustains you? Perhaps it is relationships with family or conversations with friends. Perhaps time outdoors or doing something creative with your hands gives you rest. Or maybe certain faith practices bring you into sanctuary. I pray you will seek the relationships or practices that grant you a sense of safety and refuge.  I also invite you to hear Newcomer’s song, below.