On the mind of the Rev. Canon Deacon Denise LaVetty

Apr 5, 2024

Resurrection, step by step

Dear Friends,

My hope is that this rainy, rainy, RAINY week has not dampened your Easter joy!

The hope of resurrection can be much like the weather, lifting us up, yet at times so drenched in a downpour of life, we lose sight of it. Perhaps this week following Easter was one that will have you amazed to enter our church and see it still decked out in Easter glory and you will be reminded, “Oh, right, Easter!”

Sometimes life gets in the way of hope, sometimes life gets in the way of resurrection, sometimes life gets in the way of… well, life!

A few weeks ago, I spent a few days at the Kanuga Conference Center in North Carolina. A good conference, offering me time for some walking, “getting my steps”, and exploring the woods (from a safe path!). One afternoon I came across a large labyrinth (see pic below) set in a clearing among the pine trees. I’ve seen labyrinths before and even walked one or two but always in the company of others and never doing it completely.

I glanced around, and saw no one near (good!), and I entered the labyrinth. The space immediately became a “thin space” for me, and I felt a strong spiritual connection. I began walking the path, slowly and purposefully, with no agenda, plan, or expectation, just letting the experience unfold.

What I began to notice, other than getting emotional, was that every turn (and labyrinths are all about turns) reminded me of times in my life when I had to turn, whether voluntarily or not, sometimes turn slowly, sometimes quickly forced to turn. My steps would be less sure, a bit unsteady at the turns (labyrinth turns are hairpin!), and I often thought, “Okay that’s enough, I can stop now.” But once I walked through each tight turnaround, my only thought was to keep going.

Whenever I became distracted with what lay ahead, perhaps peeking ahead in the labyrinth to see where I was headed, to see what came next, I found I would lose my balance, lose my focus, lose my peaceful mindset.

Sometimes I felt confused because it seemed I had arrived back where I started, and perhaps I did (hard to keep track on those things!), it just felt like I had returned to a path I’d already taken. Many times, I felt wearied by the whole, exercise and I simply stopped and stood in place and waited for the Spirit to get me going again.

For me, the entire exercise of walking that labyrinth represented what goes on when we walk through life. We experience all the twists and turns, the distraction, the unsteadiness, all alongside the uplifting times, the Spirit-filled times, the resurrection moments. And when my walk was complete and I arrived at the finish, I felt any path that lay ahead of me was a path I could take with confidence that I was, after all, not walking alone.

Blessings on all our Resurrection journeys!

Canon Deacon Denise