Posted in Raised by a village

Ribbons and Sand

I see multiple prayer requests on social media. I pray for healing of loved ones I’ll never meet, and sometimes I wonder if my responses matter. I mostly blog about goats, chickens and farm life because that’s normal. It’s controllable and goats make me happy.

Recently, I sat in a hospital chapel, surrounded by a comforting silence and at a complete loss of words to pray. I cried, I sobbed,  and yet words for a prayer did not form into cohesive sentences.

At the front of the chapel, glass vases sat on a table surrounded by candy dishes filled with colored sand. Each dish contained a small plastic communion cup.  A placard instructed visitors to think of someone, and pour a bit of sand into the vase. It was a community of prayers layered in colored sands of blue, yellow, brown, white and green. On another table, colored ribbons adorned grapevine wreaths with instructions of “say a prayer and tie a ribbon on the wreath.”

It reminded me of the thousands of ribbons tied to the Freedom Bridge fence at the DMZ in South Korea at Imjingak. I could not read the prayers in Korean, I knew they represented a person. The ribbons in the chapel also reminded me of the memorabilia tied to the security fence at the Oklahoma City memorial site.

I took comfort in knowing that my support network is strong. It struck me that those sands were like the ribbons at the Freedom Bridge: ways that people reached out in a time of uncertainty to find comfort. To some, the sands were just colored rocks, but to others, they represented a way to reach out and have a tangible link to others who needed to know that they were not alone. In the moment, the sand was a visible reminder of the interconnectedness we have with each other, even when we are guarding our hearts.

One thought on “Ribbons and Sand

Your thoughts?

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s