Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Where is Your Refuge Today?

The Horner Family Chapel in Baylor Health Care Systems' Outpatient Cancer Center
Photo Credit: Mark Grace
On the edge of the Baylor University Medical Center campus, enveloped in the heart of a gleaming state-of-the-art building dedicated to healing from cancer and to the support of those whose lives have been upended by their experience with the disease, there is a quiet place, spacious and simple in its design, that is dedicated to the presence of God and the experience of prayer.

One cancer patient told Jennifer Holder, one of our oncology chaplains at the time, "I love this place.  I found God's presence here, in the midst of an overwhelming experience."

The cross shines through in a burst of light whose calming and healing rays extend upward and outward. The altar is formed in the shape of the Hebrew letter ayin, which symbolizes the light of God's ever-watchful, loving gaze upon all who enter.*

Where is your refuge?  Chapels and crosses and altars may help you remember, but nothing can bring you relief until you seek refuge in God, and return to your rest in the One whose compassion for you never fails.

Hear the Psalmist today:

Psalm 116

I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;
    he heard my cry for mercy.
Because he turned his ear to me,
    I will call on him as long as I live.
The cords of death entangled me,
    the anguish of the grave came over me;
    I was overcome by distress and sorrow.
Then I called on the name of the Lord:
    Lord, save me!
The Lord is gracious and righteous;
    our God is full of compassion.
The Lord protects the unwary;
    when I was brought low, he saved me.
Return to your rest, my soul,
    for the Lord has been good to you.

*AYIN: means "eye," or "to see." By extension it also means "to understand and to obey." Ayin further refers to the primeval light, mentioned in Genesis 1:3. According to the midrash, the light of God is far greater than the light that emanates from the sun and the stars.  Though concealed in the Torah (the first five books of the Hebrew and Christian bibles), our spiritual eyes can behold the presence of this radiance (see John 1) but only with the help of the Holy Spirit (ruach hakodesh).  from the website, "Hebrew for Christians"

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  1. Thank you soooo much for your blog Mark they truly touch my heart when I need a touch from the Master!

  2. thanks for leaving a comment, Joanne! My prayers are with you these days.


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