The Sanctuary of the Barn
And there was evening and there was morning...
As a priest in an Episcopal Church, it is the liturgy that draws me deeper and deeper into the community and also into the love of God. But in recent days, I have discovered the sanctuary of our barn. There is almost a liturgical feel to our rhythm of life on our little homestead that we call Almost Paradise. Our goats need tender loving care in the evening and in the morning.
Each morning as I head to the barn to feed and water the goats, there is a feel of prayer. Daily Morning Prayer and daily Evening Prayer were once standards of Anglican/Episcopal churches. The church I serve has spoken Morning Prayer Monday through Friday but unfortunately, it is not well attended. Yet the sanctuary of the barn calls daily--in the evening and in the morning. My goats are my community, and their song is often a "Maaaaa", but a song none the less--such a joyful noise. What I love about this rhythm is that it is a reminder to pray . . . for God's creation, for world hunger, for those who are ill. Prayers of thanksgiving, too; prayer of thanksgiving for this special barn and these special companions, for the special man with whom I share my life and for the little hens who provide us with daily eggs.
And then there is the weekly cleaning of the barn--what I often wish I could do in my vocation as a priest. I scoop up the waste of the barn and carry it to the compost pile. There it is made into something special to make our garden grow.
The sanctuary of the barn provides a place for reflection, for laughter (goats can be so funny!), for love and comfort. And it fits the rhythm of my day, in the evening and in the morning. Thanks be to God.