Monday, July 11, 2011

An Office "Anchored" in Worship

In a recent post, I reflected on the central symbols of the beautiful windows in my new study. Today I offer some musings about having an office that is "built into" the original sanctuary. I know that for some, this is a simple utilitarian decision about good use of space. But it means something more to me. I work and enjoy people every day in space that was, and is, holy ground.

I remember a story from our ancient spiritual heritage about a well-known "anchorite" named Julian of Norwich. Anchorites were those whose cell (or living area) was built into a sanctuary and enclosed. They were quite literally "anchored" to their sanctuaries, unlike hermits, who went into the wilderness. Pictured is the hatch remaining from an anchorite's cell through which they would receive communion as well as food and water, speak to visitors seeking counsel, and hear church services.

Anchorites were highly regarded for their wisdom and holiness. Julian never left her cell and saw the world through a simple crack in the wall so she could pray over the city.

What does it mean to me that my office is built into a sanctuary space? I love our offices because they are a hub of activity. I'm an extrovert so I love the buzz of people and faces and stories and fun. But all this joyful activity is built upon holy ground. I hope and pray I always have a sense that all that we do in our fellowship and work and play together is holy and full of God.