Last week Kevin & I spent the week alongside my nephew & Josh Vegors putting together the ‘Sacred Space’ for Youth 2011 in Purdue. So what was this ‘Sacred Space?’ Well, it was a contemplative prayer & arts space that we set up that the youth could experience God on their own, where they were, and express that however they felt it.
The thing with crafting contemplative space is that you give up control. In a contemporary worship environment you can control the flow or the highs and lows of emotion through the time. When we do these contemplative spaces you set the stage, but whatever dance that happens after that is out of your control.
I was completely and beautifully reminded of this in this one moment at our Youth 2011 Sacred Space. Josh who was helping out started to take pieces of the artwork that the youth created and placing them in the hallway in a display type manner. Not part of my original plan but it is what he was led to do so we went with it. Hours later I was coming out of the sacred space room and I see this girl sitting on one of the chairs in the hallway. She looks distressed enough that it gave me some cause for concern. So I was just about to walk up to her and ask her if she was okay when I realized that she was actually visually meditating on the art pieces and probably in prayer. So I backed off.
To my surprise even more. She, just then, fell from her chair to her knees and proceeded to hold that prayer posture for some five to eight minutes. It was crazy. This was the freaking hallway.. There was not anything sacred about this hallway, until now. This youth broke some of my ideas of the space we set up in a contained room and took the sacred into the hallway and claimed it as something special.
I think it is neat that teens are wild and uncontrollable. God probably thinks they take after him.