Emmaus Labyrinth #66: Church of the Loving Shepherd, West Chester, PA

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 may just be my favorite labyrinth ever. It’s a typical seven-circuit classical labyrinth, but it’s huge! It’s a gravel path meandering through grass walls, under a lot of trees. It’s so large and open, with so many shade-providing trees, it feels like taking a nice long walk through the woods. The Church of the Loving Shepherd has a huge campus, and this is a great addition to it.

I hadn’t yet found an answer to my question from the last labyrinth, so I continued it here: “What Bible character do I relate to now?”

I was so excited to walk this labyrinth when I saw it. The first thing I said as I entered the labyrinth was, “I’m going for a walk!” I was reminded of when Peter said to the other apostles after the resurrection, “I’m going fishing.” So I walked, and thought about Peter, and Paul, and John, and all the others who had been nominated for my Biblical alter ego at the previous labyrinth. Moses even popped into my mind; I’ve certainly had experiences kind of, sort of, like burning bushes. But that just felt wrong, so wrong. I’m no Moses.

The moment I reached the center, it suddenly hit me. “Duh! I’m Cleopas!” I said. Of course I’m Cleopas, the disciple from the story of the Walk to Emmaus, the one who walked with his friend so long, with an unrecognized Jesus by their side. How did I not see that? I suppose this Emmaus image I’ve been walking with for the past week or two is still new, and I haven’t shaken out all the dust on it yet. But yes – no question. Cleopas is my patron saint right now. Thank you, Jonah, for all your hard work over the past twenty years or so. You have done well, good and faithful servant, now go home and rest. I’m going for a walk.

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