Secret Places And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou may- est know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel. – Isaiah 45:3 (KJV) DONNA SCHAPER | A friend of mine lives in a house near the water. She is an avid kay- aker and meditator. I am always jealous of her aquatic life and her mystical experiences. She “gets” to meditate twice a day. The first time is around noon in the summer, after she comes back from boating about with her three lady friends. She just lies back in the sun and reflects on what the water taught her. She has what she describes as a quiet mystical experience. God calls her by name. She also wakes up every night at about 3am because, as you might imagine, she is also an active hydrator. She has to pee in the night, as do many people who are less habituated to healthy habits. After her “restroom break,” she goes up to her balcony, lies down, even in the deep of winter, stares at the stars, and meditates another half hour or so. Then she can go to sleep. The Dark calls her by name. I know that not all people, even retired ones, have such spiritual leisure. I also know that anybody can have mystical experiences. But still: why don’t I “get” to those places? What prevents me? Or you, for that matter? I asked her what her special power was. She said she was an amateur mystic. I think she is a professional. PRAYER When the secret places frighten us, O God, give us permission to get to them and there let us swim and drink and row and be. Amen.

About the Writer:
DONNA SCHAPER is Pastor at the Orient Congregational Church on the far end of Long Island, New York. Her newest book is Remove the Pews: Spiritual Possibilities for Sacred Spaces.

Source: “What’s Left of the Night?” | 2022 Advent-Christmastide Devotional by the Stillspeaking Writers’ Group, made up of United Church of Christ ministers and writers who collaborate on resources for people in the church, outside the church, and not sure about the church.