Being the child-at-heart that I am, I cannot help but remember the movie Hunchback of Notre Dame everytime I hear the word “sanctuary.” There’s a scene in the movie, where Paris is quite literally on fire during a riot following the attempted execution of a gypsy, Esmeralda. Just in time, Quasimodo (the hunchback who lives in Notre Dame) rescues her, lifts her up in his arms, and shouts “SANCTUARY!” repeatedly to the crowd from the balcony of the cathedral. The laws of medieval France had a tradition of providing those being persecuted sanctuary in churches and religious buildings. Legally, no one could hurt either Quasimodo or Esmeralda.
God’s been faithful in being my sanctuary and providing me safety, even if it’s not as dramatic as the sanctuary provided to Esmeralda. It looks completely different at different points in our lives, mine included. If you’ve ever experienced any sort of sanctuary or a safe place, you’ve experienced the goodness of God’s protection and safety. God uses the brokenness from this world to mold us into greater versions of ourselves.
In my experience, I’ve noticed that I feel the most accepted, seen, and known by those who have the same cracks that I do. God uses the brokenness, darkness, and atrocities of this world to bind, heal, and love. Hearing other’s stories of surviving sexual assault, eating disorders, and depression/suicide attempts shatters my heart out of empathy, not sympathy. I’ve seen healing simply being in their presence because they don’t have to explain that abyss they’re trapped in. They don’t have to tell me where it hurts, because I already know. There’s no need to explain that weight. We’ve bore the same cross. In these moments, I know I’m providing them the greatest blessing that can be received.
And those who can provide the same to me are my sanctuary. They are my safe place to grieve, process and, at times, relapse. Many times, I forget the overwhelming amount of chronic fear I live with until God provides me with a sanctuary I didn’t know I needed. I feel my body release the tension I hadn’t noticed building up. I take a long, fresh breath after holding it for so long. These encounters have been the grandest, most obvious and kind ways God’s shown me safety. This is how He’s taught me to trust. How He’s broken down all of the sky-high, as-thick-and-heavy-as-I-could-make walls I built around my heart.
Jesus is our Quasimodo when the world tries to execute us in any way we’ve felt attacked or worn down; He is your Quasimodo as much as He is mine.
Sanctuary isn’t a just a night at BASIC. Sanctuary is God. Our sanctuary is limitless because our God is. My prayer for each of you is that you experience the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless safety, protection, and favor granted to us from the Father through the Savior.
Future dog and human mom, Enneagram type 7, Self-taught philosopher
- Sanctuary // This winter has been rough. Piling upcoming midterms on top of the nasty winter weather can leave us feeling exhausted. This Thursday, BASIC will be providing a place of peace with reflection, prayer, and musical worship as you rest in Jesus and leave your worries behind. #Sanctuary
- Lenten Lunch // Join us this Wednesday for a free meal from 11:30-12:15 pm in the Commons at Orchard Hill Church! Jordan Vernoy’s teaching will follow until 12:45 pm. We hope to see you there! #LentenLunch
- Orchard Hill Church Recycling Team // Are you looking for an opportunity to serve your community? Orchard Hill Church’s Recycling Team is looking for volunteers! Their team helps recycle the paper, cardboard, and styrofoam that is used on a weekly basis at the church. If you are passionate about recycling or serving, this is a wonderful opportunity to practice the Serve part of our BLESS model! #Serve #BLESS
- Open Mic Night // Thursday, March 28th at 8:00 pm // The week after spring break, we’ll be gathering in Lang to hear everything God was up to during your break! Whether it was spending time with your family, traveling to another country, or a conversation with a coworker, we’d love to hear your story! Come and share! #OpenMic
- Maundy Thursday // Join us Thursday April 18th at Orchard Hill Church in Cedar Falls for our student-led Maundy Thursday service! Service starts at 7:00 pm, and is open to people of all ages. Don’t forget to invite your friends and family! We hope to see you there! #AllAreWelcome
- Breathing Room // Join Thursday April 4th as we dive into our last series of the semester! Kurt Vander Wiel will start us off with a teaching on the Sabbath. We hope to see you there!
- Jennie Allen + Christy Nockles // Saturday April 13th // Jennie Allen and Christy Nockles are coming to Nazareth Lutheran Church from 7:00 - 10:00pm as part of The Freedom Tour Project! Click the graphic below for more details!
- Podcast // Miss a BASIC teaching or want to hear it again? You can now find all of our teachings on all of your favorite podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, and more! Click the graphic below to learn more!
- Life Groups // Looking to get more involved in BASIC? Joining a Life Group is a wonderful way to meet new people and share God’s love! Click the graphic below to sign up for a Life Group in Cedar Falls or Waverly (both on and off campus)! #LifeGroupLove
- Sunday Morning Worship // Join us on Sundays for church at Orchard Hill, Nazareth Lutheran Church, or Orchard Hill’s campus in Waverly! See the graphic below for service times and worship locations! #SundayWorship
Click any of the graphics below for more information!