Monday, May 4, 2009

A deep spiritual breath

Last Tuesday evening I went with some friends to walk the labyrinth at the National Cathedral here in DC. I'd never been there and was a little awe-struck. It's a beautiful building. Plus, the last time I saw images of it, was from the National Prayer Service, on January 21st. The day after the Inauguration. So I pulled up that blog entry and re-listened to that amazing service.

I had recalled three parts that stood out to me on that day: a youth choir's rendition of "He's got the whole world in his hands" (0:30:58); the actual sermon (0:40:37); and the unbelievably inspiring rendition of "Amazing Grace" (0:58:57) which, in it's rawness and beauty, brought me to tears.

As I re-listened to the sermon this time, this caught my attention:
There is a story attributed to Cherokee wisdom...
One evening a grandfather was teaching his young grandson about the internal battle that each person faces. “There are two wolves struggling inside each of us,” the old man said. “One wolf is vengefulness, anger, resentment, self-pity, fear… the other wolf is compassion, faithfulness, hope, truth, love…” The grandson sat, thinking, then asked: “Which wolf wins, grandfather?” His grandfather replied, “The one you feed.”

Walking the labyrinth on Tuesday evening with the sun dappling through those beautifully colored stained-glass windows onto the massively tall, gray-stone cathedral, there was a harp player, then an oboe player. I walked in silence. And as I slowly entered into the center of the labyrinth... the oboe player had just begun a familiar song. I sat with that song. Soaked in, breathed in, every single note. But there was one verse that reached out to me, "grace has brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me [home]."

©2009 Wendy Hudgins

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