Station 1 - Sand
As we start our journey we head to the desert as Jesus did after His Baptism. While Jesus resisted sin/temptation during his desert time we each come burdened with a history of our” failures”, be they sins, burdens that we carry of those things we feel we didn’t do well enough or just plain old grief that visits each of us in the fallen world.
It is not wise to start any journey with heavy baggage - the weight of unforgiveness – of ourselves or others. So at this first station, pause in your plan to journey farther and welcome the gift of grace in the wounded places of your heart.
Write a word, name, symbol of that burden, baggage you carry in the sand. Allow yourself time to imagine walking without this weight on your heart. When you are ready- with the love of a compassion beyond our understanding rake the sand clean of your mark.
Station 2 - Rock
The path we travel is often hard, and we face unexpected difficulties and hardships- like rocks on our path. These often turn into blessings and places where we grow in our trust and our faith deepens. Consider also that it is the house built upon a rock that stands against the storms of life. And sometimes we can become hard hearted and bitter when we can see no good future and we allow our hearts to become hard as a rock.
Take time to envision what can happen if we allow God to bless all the rocks of our life. To find wisdom through an unexpected hard time, to strengthen your foundation, or to soften your hardened heart; consider what might happen if His sweet oil is poured upon the hard places, how might it become an anointing in our way of living? How might we better include EVERYTHING and turn our stones into spiritual bread? Expect the unexpected as your journey continues and you begin to anoint all the rocks you come across them.
Pour the grape oil over the rock- observe it change in color and see how it now reflects a deeper hue of color, richer and more defined. Notice that the oil is pressed from the same fruit that Jesus used during the last supper to feed his disciples. How else might we anoint our journey together?
Station 3 - Shells
The sea shell, especially the scallop shell, is an ancient symbol of baptism. Lent began as a time to prepare new Christians and instruct them in the faith culminating in baptism on Easter,
When Jesus was baptized God spoke to him saying “you are my beloved son in whom I am well pleased”. In baptism you are also received as God’s beloved child.
Pick a shell that reminds you of yourself- maybe a broken or chipped one, perhaps a warn one, or one which makes a good presentation…Hold your empty shell tenderly as a precious child, and allow this title “beloved” to fill your empty heart and become real.
Station 4 - Human Comfort & Touch
Just as Jesus experienced fully what it was to be human in a physical body He experienced the lonesomeness that we also encounter. He offers us a unique companionship in His promise to be with us even to the ends of the world. With titles like “friend” and “beloved” have the courage to claim the personal relationship you have been gifted. Even more personally you are offered comfort in the times of your deepest need, to be held by the Holy Spirit.
Sit in the stillness of the safe sanctuary, wrap yourself in the arms of your caring and gentle friend, and simple be at peace knowing that you are safe in His arms…..and will be for eternity.