My birthday monkeys went on a tour of the House of Prayer, paying special attention to the prayer boxes in the balcony. These boxes were inspired by little prayer grottoes on Prayer Mountain in South Korea. Inside is space for one to kneel, sit, or awkwardly recline (depending on stature) and pray, journal, read, or generally spend time with God. The feeling one gets inside is unique. For me, it is reminiscent of the sweet, still gentleness found floating down my favorite Tennessee river in summer. With a little trial and error, I seem to have found the warmest box, shown here. That warmth is extra important given one must remove shoes before entering a box. Fifteen boxes line the 3 sides of the balcony. One can imagine the atmosphere of prayer and worship this creates, and it’s always fun to recognize a pair of shoes indicating the identity of the occupant. I love filling the pages of my journal while in the boxes. Going in them feels a bit like baking Christmas cookies – the warmth and love of the tradition builds with each iteration, and while the “recipe” is the same, each time is a different. Come to think of it, maybe around Christmas I’ll go around and drop sweets into folks’ shoes!

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Hope you’ve enjoyed this little tour of the HOP!

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