Treasure Valley Prays

Sanctuary…

working together

Being quarantine buddies and spending time at home with Tigress (my cat) I was able to observe her migration around my apartment throughout the day from sunny spot to sunny spot as the sun shifted its location through the day. And as the seasons changed these spots where the sun came in changed and so did her sleeping spots. In a conversation with my spiritual director I reflected on this. We talked about how God shows up in different ways in different seasons, just like the sun shines through the window in different places in different seasons. So, how was God showing up in this season?

At times lately it has been hard for me to see where God has been at work around me, as I have felt a bit disconnected with the continued online nature of life. However, when I paused to actually reflect on the question of how God is showing up in this season, I was able to think of some places where I have seen God showing up around me. Sometimes it takes a pause in our motion and busyness for us to be able to reflect and see where God is showing up around us. And there are times we just stumble upon those places where God is speaking to us.

One of the places where I have seen God showing up around me throughout this season of pandemic has been at Interfaith Sanctuary. When everything shut down here in Idaho in March, our regular volunteers from Shepherd of the Valley stopped going down to Sanctuary. After a week or so of discernment I decided to start volunteering on those two Thursdays a month. The gift I found in this was community in a time where community has been hard. I made connections with the staff who were there on the nights I volunteered, and with the few other volunteers I encountered. I also made connections with some of the guests I interacted with. In a time when most if not all of our social connection is virtual it was a blessing to have a place of in-person connection. As the months went on I started going on the alternating Tuesdays as well, and was able to continue to foster these connections.

Many weeks I was serving alongside a staff member, who when you look at the two of us you would probably think we don’t have much in common. In moments when things were less busy we would start visiting and at times come across topics where we didn’t necessarily agree, but we could discuss it and share our views with each other. I appreciated a place of civil discussion that is so much lacking in our country today. We have even had some great theological discussions that made me miss late nights in conversation with friends during college. In these conversations I saw God showing up in our conversations as we would discuss big topics and not always agree but still come out of it appreciating each other and the ability to discuss.

What I found at Interfaith Sanctuary was a sanctuary of sorts. I found a place to serve, interact, and be. I found community, connection, and a place for real conversation, when that has been harder for me to find throughout the isolation of the pandemic. For me so much of how I experience God is through community so I guess this is not so surprising that this is where I have seen God showing up. Yet, it still took pausing to think to realize how God is at work all around me.

Sometimes we stumble upon the places where God is speaking to us in obvious ways. And other times it takes a pause in our motion and busyness to see where God is showing up for us. I pray that you are able to pause and reflect for yourself where God is showing up for you in this season.

Sara Manning

Sara Manning

Director of Youth, Family, and Education Ministries
Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, Boise

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Connie Seymour

    What a blessing for you to be able to volunteer at the Sanctuary. They need you as much as you need them. I am so happy for you!

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