This is one of a series of posts about a trip I took to walk labyrinths in July 2022. See this post to see why I refer to these labyrinths as my “Emmaus labyrinths.” Note: the numbering refers not to how many labyrinths I walked on this trip, but to the total number I’ve blogged about so far.
This was one of the stranger labyrinth walks I’ve taken. Between my last labyrinth walk and this one, I tried to visit two others, but failed. One of them wasn’t there because, well, because I’d made a mistake. The website where I find labyrinths lists places that have outdoor labyrinths (like I’ve been walking) and indoor canvas labyrinths (which aren’t part of my plan). I accidentally put an indoor labyrinth on my itinerary for today. Oops! And the second one – well, that was just strange. I found the place it was supposed to be, a church and cemetery with ample grounds, but I couldn’t find a labyrinth anywhere. Two strikeouts in a row. And then, as I drove toward this one, the heavens opened up and it started pouring. As I got closer, I wasn’t sure what I should do — just sit in their parking lot and wait? Or move on and hope the storm didn’t follow me?
Well, as I approached the parking lot for the Gettysburg Holistic Health Center, the rain stopped, like a faucet turning off. A sign! Surely a sign that this one would be a success! I pulled in, and tried to find the labyrinth. I couldn’t. I walked all around the building, and couldn’t find it anywhere. Three strikeouts in a row? Just before giving up, I noticed a path across the parking lot, and I figured I’d give it a try. It led me to a field with a statue of an angel in the center. And around the angel was a faint labyrinth in the grass. The walls were mown shorter than the path, but it was all grass. Or perhaps it was the other way around – it was so faint I had trouble discerning it. Nonetheless, I found it, and I was thrilled.
So I walked in, asking the question: “Where do I need to be more trusting?”
As I walked, I lost the path very quickly. I could not see for the life of my where it was. I saw inklings of it, echoes and traces. So I gave up on trying to see it, and instead just walked around in a big spiral, slowly working my way inward to the statue. When I reached the center, I stood and stared at the angel. I was awestruck by her beauty. After staring for a while, I finally noticed that her right wing was seriously broken, completely detached from her body. But it was held to the statue with cables and ropes and love. I thought about my struggle to get to this labyrinths – two consecutive strike-outs, a heavy rainstorm, almost giving up on finding this one, and then the challenge to walk the labyrinth. I thought about how wet my feet had gotten. How broken this angel’s wings were. And yet how beautiful she is.
Here is what I can learn to trust more:
- Trust that God is walking with me even when the path is frighteningly unclear.
- Trust that God is holding my wings together, no matter how broken they are.
- Trust that there is such beauty in broken things, including me.