Let Your Love Flow
Lyrics by The Bellamy Brothers
Just let your love flow like a mountain stream
And let your love grow with the smallest of dreams
And let your love show and you’ll know what I mean
It’s the season
Let your love fly like a bird on a wing
And let your love bind you to all living things
And let your love shine and you’ll know what I mean
That’s the reason
When you enter the sanctuary for one of our Sunday Worship services at UCOH, you may have noticed two or three prayer chaplains standing on the sides with their arms held out and wondered what that was all about. Or, maybe you’ve been attending services here for a while, and never actually noticed them there at all, but felt something uplifting and loving about the space when you entered. This is one of the ways the prayer chaplain team supports the congregation at UCOH with the active practice known as “Holding Space.”
Holding Space Is A Divine Act of Service
Besides praying in all the volunteers and ministry team before each service, the chaplain team is also available after service to support congregants in one-on-one prayer. This loving act of holding space in the Sanctuary is one of the most important ways the Chaplain team serves the UCOH ministry.
Through the divine activity of holding space, the prayer chaplains elevate and express their own personal energy flow, allowing divine energy to move through them to fill the sanctuary space with love for those arriving for the service. They embody the divine presence that moves through them, expressing as them, and allowing it to expand in heart-filled service to every congregant present for services.
Saying Yes To My Own Spiritual Growth
When I was a “new” prayer chaplain, the concept of holding space was not only foreign to me, but was also a little scary. However, I quickly learned that saying “yes” to serving as a prayer chaplain was really more about saying “yes” to my own continued spiritual growth.
Sometimes, our own spiritual development means being willing to play in the deep end of the pool. But, in the beginning, I felt a bit self-conscious, even uncomfortable, about standing there in public holding space for others. It is a daunting responsibility, and I wasn’t sure I could do it. That is, until I learned more about it.
Expanding My Spiritual Family Circle
In our chaplain trainings, we began to practice holding space together. I soon found myself on the receiving end of an amazing love and support from my team. I soon began to understand that holding space for the UCOH community was simply a matter of expanding the circle that I was already holding for my own personal loved ones.
Seeing the UCOH community as an expansion of my own circle of family and friends, allowed me to be more fully “present” to the divine practice of holding space. I found it easier and easier to look at each congregant with the “eyes of love,” and to feel a deep sense of gratitude and appreciation welling up and overflowing in my heart space.
Opening Up To Divine Connection
From there, I could see each member of the UCOH family as God sees them. In this divine connection, I was able to feel our hearts uplifted in this Divine Presence of love and communion, opening ourselves to a deeper experience of the divine flow of God’s grace. I quickly learned that holding space for the congregation was like opening the aperture of a camera lens to panorama, allowing more and more of God’s divine love to flow into the frame.
Another great metaphor for this divine act of service that makes sense to me is that of a mobile phone “hot-spot”. When we have this capability on our smart-phones, we are able to provide Wi-Fi access for others to connect to the Internet. Through the act of holding space it turns out we can connect one another to the God’s divine flow of love as well, both energetically and spiritually.
Holding Space In Their Own Words
In this act of sacred service, each of the UCOH prayer chaplains demonstrates their own unique expression. Through their individual intention, they are able to prepare themselves to show up to be a part in this loving act of divine service. Here are some of the ways they have shared with me to describe their experiences.
“Holding space for me is a knowing. I am the channel in which GOD can flow through me to serve everyone. Embracing the silence with reverent gratitude, allowing GOD’s Love to permeate every part of me. GOD’s Will, not mine. To thee, O Lord, I devote my life.”
“Holding space is an opportunity to tune in to my own inner beingness, to connect at my core, in my heart space, feeling myself breathe deeply up and down the inner channel, and allowing love to pour through me into the space. Holding space is to continuously be in the present moment.”
“It feels like melding with an inner breeze of God’s divine energy of love. In this space, I project the thoughts: ‘You are safe here. You are welcomed here.'”
“When I am holding space, I express a shower of love and acceptance. For me, holding space is a matter of allowing myself to be completely immersed in the present moment. It is one of the most peaceful places I know to be.”
“While holding space, I maintain a consciousness of unification, and I hold the congregation in that space with me. I remind myself, as often as is necessary, that no matter the appearance, there is nothing but God here.“
Holding Space In A Love Vortex
Holding space is a palpable “love vortex” that is available to us any time, anywhere, if we will simply take the time to make the connection and remember to let it flow. For me, this has become part of my regular spiritual practice. It has become one of my favorite things to do as a prayer chaplain, no matter where I am!
Whether you are new to UCOH, or a long time congregant, just know that every time you walk into our precious sanctuary, many have come before you in the sacred service of holding space. Their intentions and expressions have served to create and hold the loving space of welcoming energy that permeates not only the sanctuary, but our entire campus. This divine energy is for you to connect with, serving you to connect with and express your highest and greatest self. I hope you can feel it, because I sure do.