“Hold space.” Two little words that have come up for me again and again over the last several months.

I want to tell you a cute little story from our Chapel Christmas pageant rehearsals. But first, can I ask you something? Can I ask you to notice how your body is positioned right now? What are you doing with your hands? How is your breathing?

Would you take a slow, deep breath? Would you put your hands down in your lap, relax, and turn them up towards the sky?

Thank you.
Read on.

It was beginning of December and a group of children were at the Chapel on a Saturday morning, working out the details of the Christmas pageant.  Townsperson One approached the Inn Keeper, presented her room reservation, and was directed to stage right where the room was hypothetically waiting, “Right this way,” the Inn Keeper said. Townsperson Two was next in line, presented her reservation, and also was directed to the space reserved for her, “Right this way.” Enter Joseph and Mary. They approached the Inn Keeper, asked for a room, and that’s when the Inn Keeper went rogue. “Right this way,” she said.

You guys, this is the greatest mistake ever made! She went totally off a 2000+ year old script, and it was BRILLIANT!! She giggled at her mess up. She was embarrassed. And she was SPOT ON.

Prior to a recent funeral held here at the Chapel, Charla prayed, “allow us to be present and ‘hold space’ for this grieving family.”

When I consider the intent of our Chapel MOPS group, or our youth groups, or our small groups and parent groups, it occurs to me that one of the richest parts of gathering together in community is not about the curriculum, not about what we’re learning from the text, but about how we are showing up for one another. How we listen. How we empathize. How we support. How our palms are open. How we literally and figuratively, hold space.

A friend asks to go for a walk in the middle of a busy workday. A teen lingers, like they have something they want to say. A child asks to play. It’s Gay Ski Week in Aspen, people who are often marginalized flock to our town. The Bible sits there on the shelf, unopened for a while.

How does our script go? Have we left a vacancy so that the God of the Universe can enter into our daily lives? Or are we so filled up, so busy, so set in our ways, that the friend, the teen, the child, the marginalized, JESUS himself, is sent out to find comfort in the barn?

Our little pageant Inn Keeper rewrote the script, and it was perfect. Let’s live palms up, friends. Let’s love each other. Let’s be able to say, “There’s room for YOU here with me. Right this way. Love wins.”

Let’s hold space.