Reading today’s entry in Meditations of the Heart, I can’t help but think of my yoga practice this summer with the kids at camp at the Hartman Center. As the summer chaplain I offered yoga as a pre-breakfast stretch and devotion time. I was pleasantly surprised, tickled really, to see these young summer campers straggle in, first out of curiosity, then because they liked yoga. The young ones came, who were first time campers. The teenagers came from Soccer camp, Pay it Forward camp, Archery, Noah’s Ark, their leaders came too as well as moms and grandmoms who came to see what this yoga was all about and how it could be Christian.
I lead them in opening movements, and then we recited a paraphrased version of Psalm 121. We began with mountain pose for the first line of the psalm “I lift up my eyes to the hills” and then traveled through warrior poses and seated chair poses (which seemed to last FOREVER!). At the end of verses 2, 4, 6, and 8 we paused in silence, in prayer pose, waiting for stillness – in our bodies and in our hearts, minds and our souls which wait for a word from God. Because, we’re all listening, 10 year olds, their 20-something Summer Service Team member, their grandmother who joined us for Intergenerational Camp. It’s true what Rev. Thurman wrote “Here is the ‘mercy seat’ of God before which all things are stripped to their true essence and their real character revealed.” (24)
Psalm 121 (Modified NSRV and Contemporary Eng.)
Song of Ascents.
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills— where will I find my help?
2 My help comes from the Lord, who created the heavens and the earth.
3 God will steady your foot on the path to set the direction and the pace;
4 The Great Protector of All will be diligent and not fall asleep nor get drowsy.
5 The Divine Care-giver watches over you,
6 You won’t be harmed by the sun by day, nor the moon by night.
7 The Holy One will guard you from all evil;
God will keep you safe from all dangers.
8 The Lord will watch your going out and your
coming in from this time on and forevermore.