Where do you find safe space?

Posted by Al Hathaway Wednesday, November 25, 2015 0 comments

We find outselves in an era where an unspoken question is, "where do you find safe space?" In recent weeks I have watched the news accounts from cities throughout the work where I have traveled: Paris, Istanbul, Brasilia, Oakland, Baltimore, St. Louis, Detroit, New Orleans, to name a few. it is someone startling to witness places where you walked, ate, and slept on the news as places where terror and danger exist. It causes me to thank God for traveling mercies. It seems like we are in a very violent era from government sponsored terriorism, to senseless police shootings, and to violence between people from similar backgrounds, ethnicity and conditions. Violence is everywhere and I wonder is there any safe space in the world? I was summoned to meet with Baltimore City Public School officials to discuss a recent violent episode in a school in close proiximity to the Union Baptist Church. Within the school was a violent stabbing of a student by another student. The violence threw the total school and community into shock and crisis. As a man of faith and a leader of a well respected religious institution, what do you do? I offered Union Baptist Church as safe space for the teachers, parents and students to assemble and discuss their feelings, pray for healing, and interact with crises interventionalists. Not withstanding the incident in Charleston, South Carolina, the faith institutions within a community must be safe spaces for those who are hurting and lost. The commands of our Biblical reading and Jesus Christ prompts us to be places of refuge and spaces of sanctuary. If one believes that our religious place is Holy Ground, then we cannot be afraid to function within those spaces as so. There is a traquil spirit when one enters into Union Baptist Church and sit in the main sanctuary with the rays of God's sunlight beaming through the stain glass windows. Sitting silently as the earth tone stone walls and stained oak ceiling and trussles evelope you within a historical setting that has stood firm in the midst of turmoil since 1905. Just being in the sanctuary affirms that God is from everlasting to everlasting. I'm honored to serve as the 10th Pastor of Union Baptist Church and stand on the shoulders of my nine predecesors as a beacon of hope during incredulous times. God is still on throne and He is still commanding us to study war no more and to seek salom at all times. I'm glad I can answer the question of where do you find safe space? You can find it in the inner recesses of your spirit when you are seated within the sacred space of Union Baptist Church. "You who are weary come home!"