A sacred or holy place.  A place of refuge.  A safe place.

Today I went on a walk around the Twin Brooks subdivision of Edmonton.  Much of the subdivision is bordered by a ravine, so the walk around its circumference is quite beautiful. I’ve described it before, but let me recap.  There is a path – mostly unpaved – around the circumference, and on one side are the backyards of some rather magnificent homes.  The landscaping that is done is phenomenal and for the most part includes gardens, fountains, pools, gazebos, etc.  And on the other side are the trees that buffer the ravine.

Along the way, we saw coyote scat (probably), dragonflies (thank you, Lord, for the protection from mosquitoes), and butterflies like the one in the picture.  We heard squirrels and birds and felt very far away from road traffic, although it is really quite close. There were openings in the forestry to allow unblocked views of the ravine – let me tell you, the views are spectacular.  It feels like a sanctuary when you walk this path.  Even though the experience is obviously partly man-made and partly natural.

My friend Margaret and I exchanged stories along the way, our experiences with the Lord, as we soaked in the beautiful sounds and sights of his creation.  It was truly a short, but uplifting, retreat. Walking there and looking out onto the ravine, one would not even guess we were close to Edmonton.  The Lord certainly created beauty in this part of the city.  I felt as if he had given me a gift today.  A holy and sacred gift of sanctuary.

My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
Those who are far from you will perish;
you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
But as for me, it is good to be near God.
I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge;
I will tell of all your deeds.
Psalm 73:26-28


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