walking the spiral

I didn't know what to do with myself this morning, waking up to the news of the Las Vegas shooting.

I remember so clearly after the Sandy Hook shooting, thinking that surely now something would change: surely we can't, as a country, be okay with children being slaughtered in a school. 

But it seems that we are.

This morning when the news broke, I just thought, well, this is our nation: violent, afraid, and willing to sacrifice countless human lives to the god of the Second Amendment. 

I don't know what to do about that, so I went out and walked the labyrinth at Kessler Park United Methodist Church in Oak Cliff. 

Sheltered by live oaks and magnolia trees, surrounded by the witness of those who built this labyrinth, and who share my hopes for this broken world.

Labyrinth, Kessler Park UMC, Dallas TX

Labyrinth, Kessler Park UMC, Dallas TX

Eastward, toward the rising sun, the journey begins, folding and unfolding, the spiral path, circle-contained.

Encompassing every direction: north, south, east, west. 

Including every possibility.

No turn left untaken, every stone a part of the one path.

"May the seeds of peace be scattered, birthing trees whose shade gives us rest." 

These words from The Brilliance are my mantra, my prayer, as I walk this Monday morning.

Into the center, where all the directions, possibilities, and paths converge.

Breathe, breathe, breathe, breathe.

Listen to the wind, the chiming bells, the laughter of children, cars on the street.

Breathe, breathe, breathe, breathe.

Then turn.

Turning, turning, turning, walk the path out, past all the possibilities again, until my face points west on the outer rim of the labyrinth, toward the setting sun, bearing sorrow and hope and possibility out into the waiting world.

I don't know these Howard Girls, but their brick matches my shirt today.  #sistas

I don't know these Howard Girls, but their brick matches my shirt today.  #sistas

I've walked a number of labyrinths this year, literally and figuratively.  And then I ended up in Ireland and Scotland, where everything is all about circles: the passage tombs like Bru na Boinne, the circles of standing stones, the Celtic crosses all wound around with circles, the ancient fairy paths.

Fairty Glen, Isle of Skye, photo: Andy Bruner

Fairty Glen, Isle of Skye, photo: Andy Bruner

Every time I walk a circle, each step reminds me of our great oneness with each other: the sorrow, the pain, the confusion, the questions--and always the unwinding into hope and light.

We are all part of each other.  There is no "other," no matter what our political and religious leaders say.

We are one.

All God's children, all precious, all beloved.

When we harm another, we harm ourselves.

All of us are harmed this morning by the shooting in Las Vegas. 

We feel it in our bodies: the heaviness of our hearts, the tension in our shoulders, the nausea in the pit of our stomachs, the tears in our eyes, the numbness in our souls.

My hope is that as we face the pain, as we grieve our losses, as we face the anxiety, we might come out of the darkness and into the light. 

Instead of buying yet another gun to protect ourselves, we might instead live open-hearted, brave, and vulnerable: light a candle, walk a labyrinth, pick up some trash, read a book to a child.

In the face of evil, let us LOVE. 

Let us receive Love.

Let us extend Love.

Let us not grow weary while doing good. 

Let us not grow weary while loving one another.

Let us stand up together at the gates of hell, without backing down from Love.

And so let us finally see that Love Wins.

All is not lost
Is not lost
Mm-mm

All is not lost
Is not lost
Mm-mm

The pain
Of life
I know
It well
It knows
Me well
The road
To peace
I know
Is hell
I know
It well

All is not lost
Is not lost
Mm-mm

All is not lost
Is not lost
Mm-mm

May the seeds of peace be scattered
Birthing trees whose shade gives us rest
May the seeds of peace be scattered
Birthing trees whose shade gives us rest
May the seeds of peace be scattered
Birthing trees whose shade gives us rest
May the seeds of peace be scattered
Birthing trees whose shade gives us rest

Peace Maze, Castlewellan, Northern Ireland, photo: Andy Bruner

Peace Maze, Castlewellan, Northern Ireland, photo: Andy Bruner

Print Friendly and PDF