a little re-post here, a little link there

instead of re-creating the wheel, i thought i’d just pass on a few other posts from the refuge and the collage workshop i went to this past weekend.  

the refuge post is about some of the marks of authentic community & some of the things we are passionate about. you can check it out here.

jenny wrote about the collage workshop that the refuge hosted on saturday.  she has some good pictures you can check out here.  it was 3 hours of therapy for $5!!  so good.  great company &  worth the energy to get there.  my collage is in the picture above but her site you can see it so much better.  it is always fun for make space for creative things like this. it’s on my kitchen windowsill so i will see it each day. i really do want to “enjoy the ride” this year instead of clenching my fists all the time, squeezing my eyes shut and hoping the ride gets over quick, missing all the beauty of the moment.

and lastly,  i will say i was so proud of the refuge tonight–we did the spiritual discipline of silence & solitude as a community, watched the rob bell nooma noise dvd & created 5 different stations for people to go to in complete silence: fire, prayer, communion, darkness (we had ties for people to blindfold themselves), and praise.  we had a few guided questions at each place.  we were making apologies to people for pushing them to try something so awkward together and the push back to us was “cut it out, we can hack it”. it was lovely.  i come from that darn attractional mindset sometimes and forget that at this point no one is at the refuge because of the feel-good show because there most certainly isn’t one.  they are here to dig in, give new things a try, and be part of the conversation instead of sitting passively.  i looked up during my time at the prayer station & i got a little teary realizing “damn, we’re really doing this!”   i always have this little noogling fear we’re going to systematically drive people away with these crazy experiments but i have to say i think it’s glorious to at least be trying.  everyone’s experiences were all over the place. 

i did kind of hear from God during my silence.   in general, when i am anxious, my foot & leg start shaking, sometimes just subtly, sometimes a little less covert, but it is always just my anxiety popping out and is a way i know i’m stressed and anxious.  i’ve been noticing a bit more lately.  during the quiet God gave me this repeated image of his strong gentle hand on my leg.  “honey, settle down.”  the verse that popped into my head was one of my favs.  psalm 46:10–be still and know that i am God.  i kept writing down:  i am God.  kathy, you are not.  i am God.  you are not.  be still.  i am God.  you are not. settle down.  be still.   i did feel a little less anxious & am always reminded when i make a little intentional space God seems to seep in something i need to hear. 

well, it was a good wacky refuge eve and a great example that worship doesn’t have to mean music & church doesn’t have to mean a sermon.  

and to top it off afterward we hung out with an old friend who was visiting from arkansas & watched the grammy’s (all the kids were rooting for kanye).  it was a little anti-climactical with herbie hancock winning album of the year (????) but always a great show and one of the escobar fam traditions!

Kathy Escobar

Kathy Escobar co-pastors at The Refuge, a Christian community and mission center in North Denver and is the author of Faith Shift: Finding Your Way Forward When Everything You Believe is Coming Apart and several other books.

8 Comments

  • I love that you did the community silence thing – – I had a friend once in a small book discussion group where we were reading The Ragamuffin Gospel – and one of the guys suggested we do just that. I am a person who has had constant chaos and noise from day 1 – my life has never had quiet spaces – and I can’t even be quiet when I am alone – I have to have TV, radio, something – but he encouraged us to really try it. We went with our journals and sat by the Shenandoah River at sunset – it was amazing. Like you said – intentionally making that space opens up all sorts of opportunities. Shutting out everything else to just be present with God —but I have to be careful not to make that into a “should-do” – 🙂

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  • yeah kath, last night, at the refuge, was truely amazing. i heard from God, too. i’m going to try and do that more often.

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  • Last night was great. Thanks so much for the thought you put into it. I just stayed on 2 stations: communion and praise, feeling that was what I needed. I have lots of silence and solitude in my life now. It always refreshes me. Certainly it was much harder when the kiddos were little! I agree with one last night who said, “don’t apologize for it”(the disciplines and silence.)I loved the interview with Howard Baker on vertigo, too. p.s. I linked to you from my latest post, so we’re tag-teaming again.

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  • wow, tonight i’m hosting a bridge collage-o-rama at my house. it will be one big community collage project…for no particular reason at all. i LOVE collage art. go to my blog and click on the art stories categories under labels. it will show you some of the collages i’ve done.

    and i love your collage piece here. and check this out: just today, TODAY, I blogged about Into the Wild. For real.

    Crazy. Just crazy……

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  • jewls – cool experience. i am the same as you – noise of all kinds everywhere i look–cell phone, kids, emails, music, talking talking talking. there really is something about creating a sacred space to listen.

    mike – cool! glad he spoke to you…

    jenny – i saw your little smile out there! fun. glad you got what you needed and i agree, let’s keep pressing the envelope and karl and i will do better at not being so apologetic, hahahha. you got me hooked on jonny baker, i will check this out. did you see pam’s comment about community collage at the bridge???

    pam – send us a picture!! so fun, can’t wait to see and i’ll check out some of your collages. i had never seen that on your blog before. glad we’re out in the wild…it’s scary but so much more fun too.

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  • Last Sunday when we were discussing the spiritual discipline of “silence” and you had the different stations set up for us to go to, to experience silence in different ways. You were explaining each station and what we were supposed to do and I was thinking about how I would do it. I started by going to the “Praise Station” because it was my automatic “should” on “how to do it” properly. Just teachings thru the years on how to pray and such, being thankful or praising before asking anything else of God. It’s not that that is wrong or bad, it was just an ingrained “should”. Anyway, from there I took communion and then went and sat at the fireplace. As I was sitting there trying to be silent and reflective my mind was racing as normal. At first I was trying to figure out the “right” way to hit all the stations because that’s what I thought we were “supposed” to do. I didn’t see other people moving around much so I just stayed there and tried just doing the exercise of being silent with God. I started reflecting on what I was doing and the choosing to ‘praise’ first and why God would want that and wondering whether God was narcissitic or something. While contemplating that, I believe I heard him say to me “If all I wanted was ‘praise’ I could make the rocks cry out. What I want is YOU.” Needless to say it was pretty impactful, and I’m adding to my long list of things to try and learn to do differently.

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