by Valerie King  •  One recent Saturday I was reflecting on an extremely intense week. Work was so stressful, and my body wasn’t feeling well either. In short, I felt exhausted mentally and physically. It seemed that there was no end to the trials and worries of life.

But it was a beautiful spring day outside, the grass was vibrant and green, and the tiny wildflowers were starting to show. I decided to try walking our labyrinth as a healing practice. I took my shoes off so I could feel the wonderful life and presence of Mother Earth underneath me.

I remembered that a sanctuary guest had told me she liked to start her labyrinth walks with a question for Spirit, and that often she would get an answer while walking. So I looked at the radiant sun shining in the east and asked, “How can I find healing and balance?”

As I walked my bare feet gladly felt the cool dark earth and the soft wild grasses and flowers now growing in the pathways. All Earth seemed to be singing a deep hymn of gratitude for this beautiful morning. My heart began to lift and I started softly singing a song I remembered from my childhood.

It was a hymn based upon Saint Francis’ poem about Brother Sun, Sister Moon, Mother Earth, and all the creation. The chorus simply says, “Oh praise Him; Oh praise Him; Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!” This song echoed the gratitude in my heart for the joy I was beginning to feel.

As I came close to the center of the labyrinth, I was singing a verse about humankind:
And all ye men of tender heart,
Forgiving others; take your part.
Oh praise Him, Alleluia!
Ye who long pain and sorrow bear,
Praise God and on Him cast your care….

And I smiled when I reached the very center as I sang these words, for I realized they were the answer to my prayer. How can I find healing and balance? “Praise God and on Him cast your care.”

I don’t have to try to carry all the worries and burdens of life alone. I just have to do my best with the responsibilities given to me, fill my heart with gladness and gratitude for God, and cast my cares into the brilliance of his light. That light can take much better care of my worries than I can! Thank you, Divine One.

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