Today I went to a place I'd never been before. I did so with a little trepidation, feeling a bit like the test case. Some of the folks at the church I attend regularly and I were talking about attending a service at this center, and I quasi-volunteered to "try it out." I view (rightly or wrongly) the others in the group to be a bit more invested in the organized Episcopal church than I am. While I identify myself as an Anglican, I'm not too caught up in "right" or "wrong" way to be an Anglican. Part of the beauty of the tradition is that it is rich, diverse and mostly non-judgmental.
So after my kids settled in with a sitter, I headed down to the Clayton area to a place called the Living Insights Center. The premise, if I understood it correctly, is that this is a place where all religions and all followers of a particular way (whatever that may be) are welcomed and accepted. Regardless of your creed, or lack thereof, there is a space for you. I didn't get much chance to experience the place because the service I came to attend was starting. During the service's quiet time, I felt acutely aware of the sacred. It just seemed like a holy place. I can't articulate it much better than that, nor do I want to try to given that I tend to over-explain things that can't really be explained very well at all.
After the service I walked around and looked at the various icons, relics, etc. from various traditions...many were represented. Most I could think of in fact. I was struck by the unity of it all, and the universality of it all. I typically subscribe to the idea that there are many different paths to the divine, the center affirmed that in a new way for me.
Today's experience, and hopefully more to come at the Center, are exactly what Lent is to me. Part of my Lent was to be open to the divine - to allow space in my soul for something new to take hold. As much pain as I have survived in recent years, I am ready for joy. I feel prepared to be in love again. Not with a new man, but with something so much bigger than that... life, love and that which is holy.