Members of the Sackville United Church congregration were invited last Tuesday to come and check out their new home at 110 Main Street, which is currently under renovation, and write prayers and inspirational messages on the walls before they are painted. Above, Jasmine Cabral and her little brother Finnian add their contributions to one of the walls last Tuesday afternoon.
Rev. Catherine Smith
Last Tuesday there was a brief pause in the interior renovation of 110 Main St., the place being prepared as a home for the faith community of Sackville United Church, a place in which we will be reminded of who we most deeply are, a place from which we can go out and a place into which we will welcome others.
There was a brief pause in the renovation because we had asked the gracious people that are preparing our space if we could go in for an hour to write prayers on the walls – all over the walls. The answer was yes, as long as we used HB pencils.
I was a long time ago captivated by the idea of writing prayer in places that would later be hidden. I had heard of prayer stones set into foundations, hopes written on the inside of quilt backs to be covered over with layers of batting and colour.
My delight in these stories was reactivated as I recently read of two artists who, whenever they begin a painting, take a moment to write a prayer on the blank canvas. Then they take up their brush and begin to paint over it.
I imagined how it would be for our congregation to write on the walls of this place, our now bare canvas, a place we will move into as though we are taking up a brush to paint, to colour the canvas of our lives with all we believe God is calling us to be.
So last Tuesday, for an hour, people, young and old, came quietly to cover the walls with prayers. The space for me was filled with memory and gratitude and hope. These prayers will be painted over soon, perhaps they already are.
In late spring we will move in. Many things will happen in this new space. And though what we wrote that day will no longer be visible, we will know there is prayer under it all.