I was happy to hear last week that Boulder, Colorado, which is just north of where we live, has declared itself a “sanctuary city” related to immigrants at risk. I’m attending another meeting next week about churches becoming “sanctuary churches,” safe places for individuals and families who could be deported (The Refuge can’t host overnight guests because of provisions in our lease but I’m looking forward to learning more at the meeting).
Some of the definitions of “sanctuary” include:
1. a sacred or holy place.
2. the part of a church around the altar.
3. a church or other sacred place where fugitives were formerly entitled to immunity from arrest.
4. any place of refuge; asylum.
It made me extra love the name of our faith community, The Refuge, and reminds me of why we chose it over 10 years ago.
It also got me thinking about how while we need sanctuary cities and sanctuary churches in this ever-escalating climate, we also need sanctuary people.
People who others can run to.
People who offer peace and healing while hatred swirls all around.
People who will listen.
People who will shelter.
People who will feed.
People who will step between the stones and the stone-throwers.
People who will stand alongside.
People who will pray.
People who will risk their position, safety, and comfort.
People who will advocate.
People who will hold the holy.
People of refuge. Safe zones. Home bases. Mobile homes (not that kind).
In the middle of the chaos and division and violence and fear and loneliness and unknown of real life, real realities–Sanctuary People.
May we be them.
May we find them.
May there be many.