It wasn’t until the tables were cleared that I noticed the large labyrinth painted on the floor.
For three hours the basement of St Luke’s Anglican Church located in the middle of Chinatown in downtown Ottawa was bustling with activity.
The daily soup kitchen and drop-in centre was the venue for three Anglican/Lutheran youth preparing for their Confirmation in the Christian faith. They serve their neighbor who is for whatever reason destitute.
And yet for several hours each weekday the large church basement becomes a safe place for companionship, laughter and support. We are learning the importance of relationship-building in the way of Christ. For “God so loved the world that he sent his Son Jesus…”(John 3:16).
I also was affirmed in my faith when the labyrinth was revealed to me on the floor. Because the Christian tradition of prayer undergirded, literally, all the outward acts of love, service and relationship-building going on above it.
I explained to the youth this ancient Christian form of walking prayer centering on Jesus — a path that one undertakes in faith, and which leads to loving union with God. One need only stay on the path and move forward.
We return to St Luke’s twice more this week. Only next time I will remember that in the faces of the people I serve is Christ himself.
Together we journey in the way of Christ. Though often fraught with danger, fear and want, the journey undertaken in the prayer of Jesus is one where the love and grace of God is experienced along the way.