{Day 22} Creating a Lectio Table

In the past two posts, I’ve written about sacred space as a reminder of God’s presence, and as a call to prayer.

Beyond having a set-apart area–a beautiful corneranother option for creating prayer space is a lectio table.

A lectio table is prayer in action, in the very midst of walking-around life, and can appear in a moment. All it takes is paying attention. The act of praying is in the act of crafting it and reflecting upon it.

It can change every day. It can be part of the beautiful corner, or it can be on the kitchen counter or dining room table or any other place where prayer is happening. Last Christmas, I created a lectio tree in place of having a Christmas tree.

Over the years, I’ve collected hundreds of found objects from a 160 year old piece of hand-cut marble from St John’s Monastery to a yellow ducky with blond hair (a gift from my friend Amy).

Each has a story. Each can represent a prayer. Sometimes I choose them with a specific prayer in mind; sometimes, I create the arrangement with no pre-planning. Sometimes, when I’m out walking, I find something beautiful, like a feather butterfly. I placed it on my candle-holder when I got home, and it shone in the sunlight, inspiring prayer for the rest of that day.

Another time, I was in a busy Boston train station, tired and aching to be home, when I found a perfect sprig of baby’s breath in my path–unnoticed and unwanted by the hundreds of commuters around me. It became a prayer of gratitude for beauty in the midst of the evening commute. No table, just an object held in my hand as the train whizzed along the track.

Once the objects are selected and arranged, I allow the four movements of lectio divina–reading, meditating, praying, contemplating–to shape how I reflect on the lectio table arrangement and allow prayer to happen organically. Sometimes, I’m surprised ast what the Holy Spirit nudges me to pray about, stimulated by one of the objects or how they are in relationship to each other.

Practice: Wander your house and choose objects and/or take a walk and let nature provide you with items. Choose a place on a counter or table and arrange the objects–follow your intuition. Then using the movements of lectio divina, consider the arrangement. How is the Holy Spirit calling you to pray?