At one station, participants were to leave behind cards on which they wrote an area of doubt, uncertainty, frustration, or worry. In another, they wrote areas of suffering or wounding on bandages and left them behind. At many of the stations, they were leaving something behind and taking something God gave them in exchange. It is all anonymous, so participants feel confident being authentic and vulnerable.
After the labyrinth, I spent time praying over the things left behind by participants. I read of those who worry they will never measure up to the standards of others, God, or themselves. Many suffer from loneliness, rejection, or fear. Some long for purpose or intimacy. Others wrestle with despair and doubt because they long for breakthrough in their lives that never seems to come.
These are the real struggles of those around us. These are the friends and family who sit with us in church services, youth group, small groups, and prayer meetings. There were several testimonies of the EXCHANGE some of those who participated felt with God during their labyrinth experience. Now we need to walk out the EXCHANGE with each other!
How do we continue to walk in authentic community where we feel as free sharing our doubts, pains, and struggles with each other as we do our confidence, joys, and victories? How can we encourage and strengthen each other with love? We don’t have it all figured out yet, but we know Jesus’ heart for His people . . .
“I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one - I in them and you in me - so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”