Just a few days ago, one of my bright blue eyed students came up to ask a question. I noticed the tops of her hands were covered in scars from self injury. When asked about them, she explained with a dropped head, that some kids at school had called her names, and this is how she handled it. Another shared with me her story in broken tears about the argument she had earlier that day with her best friend. One quick and creative boy whose parents are in the middle of an ugly divorce can solve a Rubix cube in 3 minutes. He brings it every week for others to watch in awe. All of these students have something in common. They all need a sanctuary.
When I hear the word "sanctuary," my mind is harkened back to the old sanctuary I grew up making pilgrimages to each week. It was a large room with arched beams, green and gold stained glass windows, and wooden pews with the pervading scent of lemon polish. No matter what happened that week, the sanctuary didn't change. You knew your "spot". It was safe. It was a constant. It was a place I met God. In that place were people who knew my name and loved me. It was because of those people that it was the safe place I needed. If we are honest it's something we all need.