There’s something really special about “spaces” in our lives. Like so many other things in our life, space is simply a tool. Certain spaces in our lives hold special significance for us. For example, spaces where we felt the presence of God in a very special way. This is how Jacob felt when he built an altar of remembrance:“There he [Jacob] built an altar, and he called the place El Bethel, because it was there that God revealed himself to him”(Genesis 35:7).
Unfortunately, I have traveled to places around the world where I sensed that darkness and evil abounded. Any particular space can be used for good, or it can be used for evil.
When our family lived in Europe for four years, we used to love to visit ancient cathedrals. Everything about these buildings was designed to lift your eyes toward Heaven. Many of them were built in the shape of a cross to remind us of the ultimate sacrifice of our Lord and Savior. The stained glass, beautiful metalwork and ornamental stones were built to usher humans into sacred space. The physical space made way for spiritual space within the soul.
At Hope Haven Rwanda, we recently had the opportunity to dedicate a new space. This space will be used for many purposes, but it was fitting that the very first usage was a community worship service of gratitude to God. As we gathered together, the atmosphere was abuzz. Priscillah Kembabazi, our family director, led us in the first corporate prayer in this space. Not only were staff, faculty and students represented, we also invited members from our local community to come and worship in this new place. Chaplain Shema shared an inspirational word, two different student choirs performed and I was honored to provide the benediction and a prayer of dedication.
We can use our spaces for good or for evil. They are tools in our hand.
They can be safe spaces, where kind words are spoken, or they can be places for gossip.
They can be spaces where we ponder eternal truths, or they can be spaces where we are distracted by the things of this world.
Our prayer for this new space is that it will always be used for good, a place filled with life and hope! What kind of space will you create this week?