Haven’t we all experienced those middle of the projects blues when we can’t decide whether to go forward or turn back?
I remember the first time going to St. Jude’s Chapel of Hope thinking that this chapel had magically disappeared or we were completely lost! We were going to have to turn around and go back to Honey’s home on Pinnacle Mountain. (I should have known if Honey is driving…you will get to any location anywhere…she is amazing!) There is no “straight” path to the little ‘chapel in the woods’ from any direction.
The reason so many people, including me, visually miss it the first time…is that the road takes a right curve where it is located. Drivers are concentrating on this approaching curve around the right of the road and the little chapel is up on the left (at the same time) probably laughing at all of us. It is in plain sight…yet simultaneously, unless you turn your head to the left going around the curve to the right…it is easily missed.
By the time you turn around and head back…there it is in plain sight…like it just magically appeared out of nowhere! I do believe the little chapel keeps a twinkle in its eye welcoming all us “lost souls.”
It will be almost eight years to the day when I first laid eyes on the Chapel of Hope. It was a hot July day (2010) and the little chapel, itself, was really hot (no electricity) too. Despite this…I felt a presence the moment I stepped in…an affinity was created before I ever saw the first picture of Beverly Barutio or read her story.
I felt a sense of homecoming. It is a place where the weary of mind, heart, soul, and body feel relief from physical problems… medications,treatments, and over-thinking situations. It is a special spot where one can solely focus on spiritual healing.
Today I think of this little chapel as a center of wonder in my life…a catalyst for change. It has connected me to family members of Bill and Beverly Barutio. It has connected friends and strangers to it through the blog…even if someone has never seen it. It has connected me to all of you readers…What an amazing mystical little chapel!
I love the connection now to all the painters of this chapel….Carolyn Serrano, New Zealand painter Gerda Smit, Joan Turner, and even “Chicken Man.”
Each time I return to the chapel I do question if I am doing enough with the time I have been given…“I don’t want to stop short of my life’s goals…to have come this far to only come this far.”
This is the question I will be leaving behind, along with a list of prayers for special people in my life and mementos from friends to leave for other friends. The chapel is on sacred ground, a “thin place,” and everyone feels open enough to leave behind their written thoughts, concerns, and hopes within its special walls.
So until tomorrow…Let us strive to go as far as our wandering takes us…never doubting the destination but fully living the journey.
“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh
A “pretty” hibiscus taken from a neighbor’s yard before I left!