Last week my dear friend Gretchen Lawlor, astrologer and mystical goddess, gifted me with a wonderful birthday astrology reading. There was so much helpful information and many wise words to ponder, one thought that came out of the reading as we began to discuss what the future held was the idea of "being a chapel".
This week I continue to reflect on what it means to "be a chapel" Naturally, I think about church and how I am feeling called to facilitate some type of inspirational or spiritual discussion group or gathering. I have no idea what that will look like from where I sit now or if there is even interest. Something tells me there is, and that it will look very different than the tradtional setting.
I do know that my ministry seems to be about "being a chapel" and assisting others in seeing how they too can embody the Divine in such a way as to be a chapel for the good work and word of God. For me, being a chapel is about living my faith on a daily basis, moment by moment, irregardless of the outcome, focusing instead on getting out of the way, creating space and an opening for the Divine to work through me. Anytime we are being the love of the Divine and bringing our gifts to the world, we are a chapel. When we take every opportunity to bring love and kindness to the world, we are being a chapel.
Now in the morning when I do my spiritual practices and read my personal vow of ministry, I also focus on how do I be the chapel today. If you think of a chapel as a religious place of fellowship and worship often attached to a larger structure, you can see how this might apply to a person. We each can be a sacred vessel for praise and thanksgiving. We are each a gift to each other and a part of something bigger and greater than each of us individually.
I am not sure what this all means at this point, I think is something I am growing into and will become more aware of as I move ahead into my life of ministry. I am remembering a dream during a vision quest just before I started my seminary program. At one point in the dream I came upon a field filled with yellow daisies. I walked through the field to a grey stone chapel, very old and simple. As I came closer I saw that the chapel had a name next to the door, it was there that I saw my name, Rev. Charlene Ray on a board nailed to the side of the door. In the dream I thought this is my chapel, this is where I teach, this is my home.
How might you be a chapel? What is your purpose for being here and how do you embody the sacred and live a life of deep meaning?
A little aside from the main road,
becalmed in a last-century greyness,
there is the chapel, ugly, without the appeal
to the tourist to stop his car
and visit it. The traffic goes by,
and the river goes by, and quick shadows
of clouds, too, and the chapel settles
a little deeper into the grass.
But here once on an evening like this,
in the darkness that was about
his hearers, a preacher caught fire
and burned steadily before them
with a strange light, so that they saw
the splendour of the barren mountains
about them and sang their amens
fiercely, narrow but saved
in a way that men are not now.