finding l'abri

Sometimes I get caught up in the wind and I close my eyes and dream of being back at L'Abri. I dream of tea-break on the patio, formal meals at Richard's house, Thursday's off, and even raking leaves up the steepest hills on the property. The other day I had one of these "moments". And then I caught myself wondering, "What is it that I truly miss about L'abri?" If I could go back....would I?
I think I would go back, OF COURSE I WOULD! But there's something more to L'Abri. There is something woven within its framework that continues to work the miracles in the hearts of the people who journey there. There is a reason why "L'Abri" means "Shelter". And as I ponder, I'm believing that this framework is what I am really craving.
At L'Abri there is a safety in existing, in just "being". I think the walls of Chalet Bellevue are insulated with the prayers of the people who have been there and lived it's experience. These prayers, I really believe, have created a safety net for the students who need to disarm. No where else in this world have I felt more able to scream at God. No where else have I felt more need to shed off layers. No where else have I felt safe enough to explore the core of my doubting. I think anyone who has been there would agree, that L'Abri is not defined by its schedule, it's lectures, by work crews, nor by formal meals. L'Abri is defined by the freedom that happens underneath our skin.
I once received an email by a fellow student at L'Abri. He had left to return to his home in Germany. He said, "I have changed my second room into a spare bedroom. I put a sign on the door and designated it as Little L'Abri". When I read the email I laughed to myself. Now as I think back, I understand. I think we are all craving to find "L'Abri" in this normal world...which is far from normal. I know that I, am searching and sometime crawling in desperation for a place where I can disarm again and let go of myself.
Where shall we find this shelter? Who's prayers are insulating the walls of our lives here? this all makes me want to pray unceasingly for those who are coming after me. It makes me want to seek out those who I know are praying for me so that I can find the release to let go.
May you find your "L'Abri" too, wherever you are.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

April, thoughts on your time at L'Abri are vivid and inspiring! I might actually be going there this fall term.

I love the way you defined it as "the freedom that happens underneath your skin." What was one of the main things you took away from your L'Abri experience?

Did you find there, the answers you were looking for?