Friday, February 1, 2008

I knew peace

I am a confirmation mentor for a 9th grade girl at my church. We've been meeting together throughout the year as a supportive part of her education and growth as a Christian in the Lutheran Church. We typically meet for an hour to an hour and a half, one time per month. At the end of every class, all of the confirmands and their mentors gather together for a moment of prayer and reflection at something called "Sacred Ground." We light candles and there is lovely, soft instrumental music playing...

On this particular evening, we were discussing baptism. The "Sacred Ground" leader passed a bowl around the circle, and instructed each person to dip their fingers in the water, make the sign of the cross on the forehead of their neighbor and say, "you are a child of God."

I don't know what your religious beliefs are. In fact, I am not always certain that I know what my religious beliefs are. But on this night, I felt that I was a little closer to understanding the possibilities.

Watching all of these people - boys and girls and men and women - caring for each other in such a peaceful and gentle manner was beautiful. Beautiful and reassuring. Who knows what hectic activities everyone came from in their daily lives or what they went home to for the evening, but in that moment and for that brief time, there was peace.

And love.
And gentleness.
And kindness.
And care for all people equally.

I saw grown men and women look into the eyes of the younger people and say those words, and they really mean it. I saw the faces of those young students looking back at the adults with such trust and earnestness.

Each telling each "You are a child of God."

And on that night, I knew peace.


flutter said...

This is so lovely

Patti said...

with lent approaching, this was beautiful. we are all searching, with every heartbeat, don't you think?

by Johanna Brandvik said...

wow. to be a teenager in a community like this! and to have you as a mentor! i really enjoy hearing about this, it's inspiring. at our church one morning the pastor asked the congregation to turn to the person next to us, look into their eyes and say something very similar. it was incredibly moving. taking this message to smaller groups like yours is such an intimate way to begin building strong communities that foster wholeness, love and the capacity to reach out even further to those need. thanks for sharing your great moment of peace.

Angela WD said...

What a beautiful ceremony. And an amazing idea...mentoring a teen through confirmation.

You are a beautiful person, Ahna!

Shandy said...

What a moment! It is so wonderful to be a part of a community like that! I'm currently mentoring a seeker at our church for confirmation too. She is a sweet sophomore and the classes have been just as powerful for me. Thanks for sharing.