Each morning of this sabbatical time, I walk the labyrinth.

Each day a different time and in a different way, but I still walk.

Saturday morning I walked with bare feet. I felt the prick of each broken acorn,  roughness of each rock and cut of each small twig trying to make itself a new home in my left and my right. It forced me to walk slowly, not rushing or pretending… it hurt like hell and my entire body felt and expressed the pain. Each step brought me closer to the center, a place to rest my weary, scorned and blood spotted feet.

The center did not magically take the pain away, because there were no shoes waiting there for me. However, it provided rest and that was good enough for me.

As I walked through the labyrinth from the center I kept telling myself, “this is temporary. rest & healing is right around the corner. keep going. stop if you need to, but keep going.”

The end came and I realized the only way is through. Today is Monday, and I do not see one glimpse of Saturday’s bruises. What I do see are Saturday’s teachings and prayers encouraging and pushing me on… “this is temporary. rest and healing is right around the corner. keep going. stop if you need to, but keep going.”

There is an old African-American hymn of praise I use to love singing when I was younger in some of my pops churches, “I’m so glad trouble don’t last always. I’m so glad trouble don’t last always.”

I am so glad trouble does not last always. I am so glad that I no longer want to walk around it, shield myself from it, or ignore it but actually walk through it to a place different from where I begun. How all this happens, I don’t know and sure as hell can’t explain it these days. I just know as I step, as I deal, God keeps showing up in these crazy ways chipping away at stuff I did not even know was there and inviting me to live in a place of rest and possibility.

Grace. Hope. Growth. Freedom.

“As I make my slow pilgrimage through the world, a certain sense of beautiful mystery seems to gather and grow.” A. C. Benson