Walking Together Toward Peace

We sit in a circle under the pine trees. The wind wails through the green boughs
that tumble down pinecones. Forty-five of us have gathered for the last Sabbath at the
Farm for the season. We were expecting very few people, but the cars kept pulling in,
and we kept pulling out more chairs.

We sit in a circle under the pine trees. Chairs close together, elbows almost
bumping. And we sing the words of the Walking Song:
“This land is kin so hold it dearly. Don’t give up on the hope, our God…”
Welcoming the divine and inviting our true selves into community, to be seated with
strangers and know we are loved.

Our feeble voices join with the pines as Emily reminds us of the beauty of
Sabbath in the everyday. Rest in the mundane and difficult moments that feel far from
peace and joy. We sit with our grief and anger, emotions we don’t often dignify. But
today we hold them together.

We take rocks and pile them in the center of the circle, each person naming what
separates them from sabbath, from community, from ourselves. Rocks pile on rocks,
fear and anxiety, selfishness and physical limitations, all the sharp things we carry
tumbling together in this wall of wounds. Our whispered words swept away in the
whispers of pine trees. Many of us are crying. Bathed in the honesty of brokenness.

But it doesn’t end in a pile of rocks, it doesn’t end in a wall. It ends with God
touching the wounds and the rocks becoming paths. Paths from the summit. Paths from
the hurt. All free for the taking. The words of Bing Futch’s Never Too Late beckoning us
to joy even now, “I am free within this prison, though weary are my bones I celebrate.”

And so we all walk together from that moment to a feast we’ve prepared for each
other. We partake, side by side, making walls into paths, beginning the journey toward