The word “sanctuary” typically paints the picture of stillness and immaculate surroundings. Perfection, perhaps?
Well, the thing is that we have a fairly large family and with a large family comes a large amount of noise and mess. It takes a large amount of time to mobilize and a large amount of money to feed us all. We make a large number of mistakes as we relate with one another every week.
One day as I was preparing and brainstorming about the genesis of this site, “The Sanctuary”, I suddenly felt internally cut down with intimidation at the thought of all of our messes and my mistakes. Then, just as suddenly, I remembered that the goal of creating The Sanctuary is not about external perfection but about a relational atmosphere. It is about the fortitude of our intentions and the choice to find rest in the midst of it all.
Years ago we watched a movie that follows the story of three orphaned children and the trials they go through. One night as they faced the darkest of circumstances, they brought out a photo of their deceased parents and hid together, finding solace in their memory and love for one another. In the midst of it all, they found a place of rest.
Before the scene fades, the narrator explained, “A sanctuary is a small, safe place in a troubling world.” It stirred my heart and confirmed what I intuitively knew.
Humanity needs a place to come home to.
Many people are suffocating in relationships void of intimacy, riddled with shame and plagued by loneliness. They could have financial stability, celebrity status and honed skills, but without relational connection, their hearts suffer.
In my study of developmental theory, I’ve learned that all true maturation and growth comes from a psychological place of rest. True psychological rest only comes when we sense that we are embraced for who we are by at least one other person, and that the source is love is far steadier than any performance we can sustain.
True maturation will lead to great confidence in our identity, to greater problem-solving in innovation and creative expression, and to great resilience in the face of struggle. Instead of chasing success, we would then be wise to direct our efforts largely in cultivating sanctuary.
Finding sanctuary is not meant to make you addicted to comfort, but rather to give you a place to catch our breath and let down your guard in preparation for the next day’s daring adventures. And finding sanctuary is for everyone, no matter your marital status, the number of children you have, or your age.
It is my desire that when you visit The Sanctuary, you would sense that you are not alone. I am committed to share insights that I’ve gained from those far wiser than me, from interactions with hundreds of people, and from the mistakes and lessons learned in our messy family.
Are you wondering how you can start?
Maybe just by taking a deep breath right now, right where you are.
And then commit yourself to engaging in a genuine conversation this week with the people around you.
Let your heart show up to the table.