sanctuary people.

I was happy to hear last week that Boulder, Colorado, which is just north of where we live, has declared itself a “sanctuary city” related to immigrants at risk. I’m attending another meeting next week about churches becoming “sanctuary churches,” safe places for individuals and families who could be deported (The Refuge can’t host overnight guests because of provisions in our lease but I’m looking forward to learning more at the meeting).

Some of the definitions of “sanctuary” include:

1. a sacred or holy place.

2. the part of a church around the altar.

3. a church or other sacred place where fugitives were formerly entitled to immunity from arrest.

4. any place of refuge; asylum.

It made me extra love the name of our faith community, The Refuge, and reminds me of why we chose it over 10 years ago.

It also got me thinking about how while we need sanctuary cities and sanctuary churches in this ever-escalating climate, we also need sanctuary people.

People who others can run to.

People who offer peace and healing while hatred swirls all around.

People who will listen.

People who will shelter.

People who will feed.

People who will step between the stones and the stone-throwers.

People who will stand alongside.

People who will pray.

People who will risk their position, safety, and comfort.

People who will advocate.

People who will hold the holy.

People of refuge. Safe zones. Home basesMobile homes (not that kind).

In the middle of the chaos and division and violence and fear and loneliness and unknown of real life, real realities–Sanctuary People.

Sanctuary People. 

May we be them.

May we find them.

May there be many.

ps: January 2017 at Sheloves Magazine is centered on Capacity. My post, 10,000 Hours, is up this week. We’re always learning.

Kathy Escobar

Kathy Escobar is dedicated to creating safe and brave spaces for transformation and healing in real life, online, and outside. She co-pastors at The Refuge, a hub for healing community, social action, and creative collaboration in North Denver, co-directs #communityheals, a non-profit organization dedicated to making spaces for transformation accessible for all, and is the author of Practicing: Changing Yourself to Change the World, Faith Shift: Finding Your Way Forward When Everything You Believe is Coming Apart and several other books.

One Comment

  • You are a sanctuary for me… just knowing you online has given me courage.


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