Guest / Limited Access /

A few years ago, an Orthodox professor extended an invitation from his priest to come and bless our office—the University Communications office at Seattle Pacific University. We're both an evangelical and an ecumenical university, which means all our faculty and staff share faith and unity in Christ, but we differ in the particulars of that faith. I was a little bit nervous when the priest showed up in a big beard and black robe, holding a bowl of water and a brush. He then proceeded to fling water everywhere with the brush, all over the paper and computers, while speaking words of blessing around the office. I thought, Couldn't we bless the office by bowing our heads and closing our eyes? Or at least something less messy?

I spent last Thursday afternoon on lockdown in that same office with my coworkers. We sat around our conference table in a room with no windows. We prayed, tense and silent, as we waited for news about the shooting that had happened on our campus. We texted and called family and friends to let them know we were safe. We watched and waited, as ambulances carried injured students to the hospital and helicopters hovered overhead.

In those awful moments, which I never want to live through again, the memory of the priest blessing our office was what popped into my head. I remembered the physical blessing that took place in the physical space of a basement office on a university campus. I remembered how the priest prayed for us and told us our work was sacred. I remembered his wet, physical blessing.

"Our sacred place has been desecrated," I kept thinking. "What a desecration."

I was born and have lived most of my life in college towns, and I've always thought ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current IssueThe Title IX Lives of Christian Colleges
Subscriber Access Only
The Title IX Lives of Christian Colleges
Why CCCU schools are split on claiming one of their legal rights.
TrendingWhy Do We Have Christmas Trees?
Why Do We Have Christmas Trees?
The history behind evergreens, ornaments, and holiday gift giving.
Editor's PickFairness for All: Evangelicals Explore Truce on LGBT and Religious Rights
Fairness for All: Evangelicals Explore Truce on LGBT and Religious Rights
It worked in Utah. But national effort by the CCCU and NAE will be more complicated.
Christianity Today
A Shooting on Sacred Ground
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

June 2014

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.