A Sense of Place

ALT="a rocky cliff at Glen Eyrie"

Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer

Have you ever felt out of place, as if you didn’t belong?

Have you ever thought a comment, piece of artwork, or something else was out of place? It just didn’t fit.

A sense of place – belonging – is highly valued, and that’s why community is so important. People feel they have a place to go, people to whom they can turn with common ideals and beliefs.

My church is such a place for me, where I feel as if I fit. In truth, the church is not the building but the people gathered in it. We sometimes meet in a local park and, even there, it’s still church that we experience.

Some people try to imagine their “happy place” when faced with stressful situations – usually a peaceful mountain, beach, or country setting where they “go” in their thoughts.

Wikipedia defines “sense of place” as: “… a multidimensional, complex construct used to characterize the relationship between people and spatial settings. It is a characteristic that some geographic places have and some do not, while to others it is a feeling or perception.”

Some of us visit the cemetery, stopping at the grave of a loved one, or we return to the site where ashes were spread, knowing full well that the person is not there. Only his “earth suit” is there. But either spot is a place where we somehow feel connected to that loved one.

God has always known how important a sense of place could be and in His word we find several references to place, many more than I have listed here:

  • You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance (Psalm 32:7).
  • He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty (Psalm 91:1). 
  • I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also (John 14:2-3). 

Jesus has a place for me specifically, just as He has one for you if you ask Him.

For most of my life, I’ve not consciously considered the importance of place, other than the 17th-century mantra for orderliness: A place for everything and everything in its place.

But now the truism applies to much more than I once thought, and I find great comfort in knowing I have one.

~

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ALT="An Improper Proposal"Mae Ann changed into her split skirt and tall boots, slid Cade’s handgun into the saddlebag, and called the dog to accompany her. She hadn’t returned to the farm since burying Henry, and now that it was to be part of the ranch, she wanted to take stock of what could be salvaged and what could not.

She cut north for Pine Hill and reined in near the crosses, pleased by the prospering rose. She felt as vigorous in her own way, sensing fully the Lord’s blessing. His face did indeed shine upon her. He had given her a home, a husband, and great peace.

Continuing north with the meadowlarks’ encouragement, she drank in the earth’s sweet perfume after the storm. Everything was fresh and clean, and she reveled in the sense of new beginnings. She clucked Ginger into a lope, marveling at the cerulean sky and rolling grassland that spread unfettered between mountain ridges. She felt exactly the same—unfettered. Free yet belonging to someplace, to someone. ~An Improper Proposal winner of The Reader’s Choice Award (Multiple purchase options on the book’s page.)

Inspirational Western Romance – where the hero is heroic.ALT="free book"FREE book and Newsletter!

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