I have recently begun An Altar in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor. I have heard much about this author lately, she has popped up quite a few times in the past two months in the blogs that I frequent so I decided to try her out. I have been taken with her writing and her ideas from the first pages of this book. She talks about nature around us being made into altars of remembrance. I am drawn deep into that idea. Altars of remembrance have a peaceful feel to it. My heart stirs toward that idea.
Altars of remembrance.
I need to stay with that awhile.
Brown explains these altars in a beautiful way:
“After the crashing of the waves, the sanctuary of the still pool hit me with the sound of silence. The calm water lay so green and cool before me that it calmed me, too. Walking around the pool, I came to three stones set upright near the edge where the water was the deepest… Whoever had come before me had set up an altar and though I might never know what that person encountered there, I knew the name of the place: Bethel, House of God.
At least that is what Jacob called the place where he encountered God–not on a gorgeous island but in a rocky wilderness–where he saw something that changed his life forever…
Jacob lay down to sleep…Wherever the dream came from, it was vivid…Then all of a sudden, God was there beside Jacob, without a single trumpet for warning, promising him safety, children, land.
“Remember, I am with you,” God said to him, “I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
“Surely the Lord is in this place,” he said out loud, “and I did not know it!”
His life was changed for good… All Jacob knew was that he had to mark the spot…Looking around for something would do the trick…his stone pillow. Then he poured oil on it and gave it a name–Bethel House of God. Pg. 2–4
I love that recounting of Jacob’s dream and his setting up an altar to remember God’s presence in his life. I need to ponder this for awhile but I would like to revisit it later on.
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