Our players have spent the night in beautifully appointed bedrooms. They are supposed to meet again at 8 am in the living room (aka The Crucible) for a meditation and opening session. Brunch will come later.
Sounds: soft voices, occasional laughter, steamy hot water blasting its way through the magic Keurig coffeemaker and into a waiting coffee cup, hair dryers in the distance.
“Did you sleep well?”
They gather together. Phyllis presents a meditation on two women who lived 2000 years ago (Luke 1:39 – 45: Mary visits Elizabeth, her cousin. Mary is young, a virgin, and pregnant; Elizabeth is old, married, and carrying Jesus’ cousin, John, in her womb).
What does Elizabeth say when she greets Mary? “Blessed are you among women!”
“Elizabeth and Mary represent what happens when we recognize the work of God in each other,” says Phyllis. “First they salute each other. When they salute each other, they acknowledge each other. They recognize the significance of God’s work in each other and they show the respect they had for each other.
“And when they salute each other, something happens. The baby inside Elizabeth’s womb jumps for joy.
“Both these women are determined to understand how their spheres can contribute to the work of God.
“When Mim salutes Dot she’s acknowledging the miracle of God’s presence in an earthly being like Dot.
“She recognizes the fruit that God works in us. God’s fruit is love when we’re around people who aren’t easy to love and when we’re misunderstood. His fruit is peace when we’re in danger and joy when we’re disappointed.
And when Dot does this for Mim, it helps Mim to believe God’s work in her.”
Phyllis explains, “God wants us to believe the great things he’s told us about our spheres.” But it’s impossible for Mary and Elizabeth, and for Dot and Mim, to believe God is going to do the things he’s said he’ll do. Yet the angel said, “With God, nothing is impossible.” And Elizabeth told Mary, “Blessed is she that believed for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.”
Phyllis concludes: “This meeting of women in the hill country resulted in the best possible outcome: praise to God. Listen to these words from Mary’s beautiful song: ‘My soul magnifies the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. He has regarded my estate — my sphere, if you will. All generations shall call me blessed, for he who is mighty has done great things to me, and holy is his name.”
Phyllis hands out paper weaves with the words from Mary’s song interspersed with blank spaces where the women can write their own reflections.