Behind my family church is this prayer garden. It has a pond, a small chapel, flowers and trees, and it is beautiful. The congregation celebrates Easter Sunrise service there, and has held more than a couple of memorials there. I have conducted a couple of weddings out there, attended a few fishing rodeos, volunteered in a couple of haunted hayrides, and just sat and had lunch. It is a haven of peace and quite squeezed in between a massive retail space and a growing subdivision. There is a dedicated group of folks that help keep it manicured and groomed, and a small group of dedicated boys and men that keep the snake population at bay.
And it is largely a secret. Oh, we mention it all the time. Talk about it during worship. You have to fill out a reservation form for it as you would any other space in the building. But people are oblivious to it. People will come up and ask “how do you get to the prayer garden?” Walk about 300 steps out the back door of the church, and then you will see it. “I never knew.”
Unfortunately, of all the things I have done in the prayer garden, I don’t think I have ever actually gone out there just to pray. It may, in fact, be the only thing I have not intentionally done in the prayer garden. Sort of a shame. There is a dedicated space, a beautiful thin place, set aside for that purpose, and I missed it. I do have an active prayer life. My days are sandwiched between intentional prayer, with loads of smattered and splattered prayers in between.
Maybe its time. For a few quiet moments. In a thin place.