I am letting this room
and everything in it
stand for my ideas about love
and its difficulties.
-Li Young Lee (excerpt, This Room and Everything In It)
Lord, I stand here. Sit here. Kneel here. Exist in your presence. Lent is coming to a close, and here I am before you, as I am. Learning to worship, even after years of knowing you. I may not know much about you, but I do know you are a God of love.
I had difficulty writing this devotional. I am a tired college student, not sure if what I have to say has much importance, and wondering if it will be applicable to others. I have seen so much hurt this year, and I have also seen the kindest parts of people. All I can wonder is how we can hold space for each other simply to love. Not necessarily fix. But just to exist in our pain and our joy, a moment to simply be as we are. Nothing more is asked, and nothing needs to be left behind.
I am an early riser. Right as the sun comes up, I’m by the window, just waiting for day to break. I find solace and comfort in the silence of my room. I hold space for myself. Some days, I feel content, and the memory of a calm morning carries me through the day. And on days that I feel alone and vulnerable, I remember moments where I have been held and loved by others. When friends, family (blood or chosen) hold space for each other to be vulnerable, it is an act of worship and respect for each other.
A sacred place is only holy in name. I find the distinction between the two blurry, because I’ve often felt more comfort in a so-called “profane” space than in one deemed to be sacred by others. I believe that a space is sacred when God’s presence, love, exists. Self-love, love for others, love for justice, unrestrained love. A picket line is sacred in that way. A collective space where love for justice, love for the workers, comes together. No one said love was easy, and no one said love couldn’t be angry either.
The staircase in my friend’s apartment was more sacred than a church – a place where I often felt lost, unwelcome, or insecure. I was afraid to be. My friend held space for me, provided comfort, when I felt lost. Sacred is the feeling of love and belonging, moments and emotions, not tied a physical place.
Hold space for yourself. Hold space for each other. Let us walk into a room together, and with everything we have and everything in the room, simply be with, and for each other.
Draw a room. Or a box. I’m not artistically inclined, but just draw some two-dimensional shape of a sort with an empty middle. Fill it with anything -ideas, feelings – that make you feel loved in a space that you can hold for yourself or for others. Take those ideas, and try to hold space sometime this week. Whether it be a co-worker struggling through a project, or a child throwing a tantrum—hold space for them to be.