Do you have a sacred place, Dear Reader? Do you have a place where the presence of the Lord is the most tangible to you?
For some, a sacred place may be in a cathedral with altar, stained glass, and finely tuned hymns. Others find their sacred places in cathedrals of sequoias, or grand mountains.
For many years my sacred place was a cozy chair by the window in our bedroom. Looking out at the huge tree in our backyard soothed me and helped my spirit tune into what the Lord had for me.
When we downsized to our new apartment, a chair with a view was requisite. Recently from my second story perch, the dance of wooded treetops guided me to that most special of places.
For better or for worse, life isn’t always cathedrals and cozy chairs, is it, Dear Reader? In times of great challenge sacred places can be shattered by our screams or shaking of our fists at heaven. All the sermons we’ve heard, sacred music we’ve sung, all the Scriptures we’ve read and written upon our hearts turn sour as our sacred places fall upon us and bring us to our knees.
During our journey together, Dear Reader, I’ve alluded to my battle with depression. It’s not a choice; it’s an inheritance. It came with my wavy hair and tall frame from Mama’s side of the family. Depression is also a cold, dark, ugly place. It can alienate by twisting what you believe is good about yourself into something cold, and dark, and ugly.
Over the years I have sought and found sacred places in the Lord’s temples, amidst the beauty of His natural world, the amazing canvases He helped to paint, and in the eyes of those I love. Still, my humble, cozy chair has been my favorite. But, recently, the Lord didn’t meet me there.
For the Son of Man came to seek and to liberate the lost.
Luke 19:10 VOICE
Some of the lies of depression are that I am a weak person, I “shouldn’t” feel this way, how can I call myself a Christian and be depressed . . . you get the idea. With that nonsense in my brain, I frequently felt guilty and assumed God wouldn’t want anything to do with my hot mess. But that was another lie, and Jesus proved it wrong by meeting me on my knees.
Have you seen images of victims in an emergency room? Seems like the first thing done for the patient is to get the soiled clothes off so wounds can be attended to. (Stick with me, people, this analogy will make sense in a minute.) Who wants to be in that scenario, not to mention the gross clothes?
Jesus gently began to strip away the cold, dark, and ugly. After decades of fighting the battle of depression, and thinking I had to do it alone, I gained fresh understanding when Jesus met me on my knees in despair:
- Jesus isn’t put off by our mess (remember the demoniac, Mark 5:2-18 NTE);
- Jesus doesn’t force His way in (He knocks first, Revelation 3:20 TLB);
- We can break free from the bondage of legalism and lies (Romans 7:6 MSG).
The thief approaches with malicious intent, looking to steal, slaughter, and destroy; I came to give life with joy and abundance.
John 10:10 VOICE
Dear Reader, I pray that if your sacred place is not one of sweet communion and fellowship, joy and abundance, it soon will be. I hope it is/will be a place where you gain strength and wisdom for your daily walk.