Sacred Space - Church on the Porch

Lily Belle sits with me in her way. She's often present during spiritual direction...especially when folks want to meet on the porch. 

Lily Belle sits with me in her way. She's often present during spiritual direction...especially when folks want to meet on the porch. 

This post is best read on a porch with a glass of sweet tea or coffee, to your taste.

When I was a child, I went to church Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, and Saturday night. That is, my mom and I went to church; my dad never went. My two brothers were done with church before they left high school. 

Not me. 

I've realized, all these years later, that I used to believe: If something isn't working, giddy up and do more of it. 

Try harder. 

Now, I'm trying to try less. Don't strive to change the world; maybe help your neighbor carry their groceries. 

 

When I was a child, I only knew a Perfect God, and I was profoundly imperfect;

a merciless God when I desperately needed mercy; a God without grace when I longed for grace to cover me, shroud me, heal me, shelter me. 

I ached for amazing grace. 

I needed a tender God, a God who could visit with a little girl reading a book up in a tree. Or sitting on an old, hot metal glider, the kind that made indentations on the backs of your thighs. 

I needed a God who would meet me on the porch. 

 

I spend quite a bit of time now, out on my porch.

With the old pots, before somebody knocked one off and taught me, again, about impermanence. 

With the old pots, before somebody knocked one off and taught me, again, about impermanence. 

I'm there with Oscar and Lily Belle, two therapy cats who sit with me.

They're not trained to do anything but lounge around being themselves; they never cry the bitter tears of resentment because they are not dogs, or fancy ponies. 

Oscar is very good at resting out on the porch. 

Oscar is very good at resting out on the porch. 

We sit together on this old porch, in silent camaraderie, day after day. 

They're small, but mighty in spirit. 

I remember my grandmother telling me, long ago: "It's all love, child. It's all love."

Come to think of it, she told me that sitting in a glider swing shucking string beans, on her front porch. 

 

So, here I am, Lord. 

Out here on the porch. 

I'm on the swing near the old rhododendrons and the robin out back, urging her hatchlings to fly. 

The old rhododendron, just outside the porch.  

The old rhododendron, just outside the porch.