Taking a breath

November is drawing to a close and, in a blink of an eye, we will be knee deep in Christmas celebrations. Yesterday as we sat in staff meeting I flippantly asked “ Anyone have an idea for worship this week?” It was then that Chris said something about this being the in between times. We have finished the restoration and celebrated that event and we are ending our liturgical year. It is perhaps time to pause and take a breath. I have been thinking about that since then. I don’t know about you, but life for me seems to be in a constant state of motion. There are so many things to do and so little time to do them! In light of this reality I find myself frequently saying

“I just need a moment to stop and breathe.”

What Taking a Breath Looks Like

As I reflected on this I wondered what this “taking a breath” looks like. I realize that for each of us this takes a different form or perhaps many varied forms depending on what we need. For some it might mean taking a walk in the park; curling up with a good movie; spending time concentrating on a hobby; reading a good book; cooking; listening to music; going out with a friend and the list goes on.

For me it means taking a moment to check out. A time when I do not have an agenda and I do not have to engage in public activities. A time when I can literally take some deep breaths, calm my being and allow my soul to rest. This is not easy to do but it is oh, so important.

I Find Myself at the Well

Taking a breathWith all of this in mind, it will not surprise some of you, that I find myself at the well. Jesus stopped at Jacob’s well because he was in need of rest. After a time of journeying it was here that he would drink from the ancestors well and be renewed. The Samaritan woman came to this well because she needed water for her daily living and in her pausing she found something so much more.

Time and again I have stopped at my well. I have listened and communed with the ancestors. I have taken breaths that are deep and refreshing for the soul. I have found that moment where spirit can be felt and heard.

My prayer for each of you is that you will take a moment to pause in this in-between time. Drink from the well; breathe the breath of life and allow your lungs to fill; and take some time to simply be.

Blessing of the Well

I leave you with this blessing by Jan Richardson found in “Circle of Grace.”

Blessing of the Well

If you stand at the edge of this blessing
And call down into it,
You will hear your words return to you.

If you lean in and listen close,
You will hear this blessing
Give the story of your life back to you.

Quiet your voice.
Quiet your judgement
Quiet the way

You always tell your story to yourself
Quiet all these
And you will hear the whole of it
And the hollows of it;
The spaces in the telling,

Gaps where you hesitate to go.
Sit at the rim of this blessing.
Press your ear to its lip, its sides, its curves

That were carved out long ago
By those whose thirst drove them deep,
Those who dug into the layers

With only their hands and hope.
Rest yourself beside this blessing
And you will begin to hear

The sound of water entering the gaps.
Still yourself and you will feel it
Rising up within you,

Filling your emptiness,
Springing forth anew.


© 2018 Rev. Valerie Peyton Kingsbury. All rights reserved

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