I recently accompanied a group of disabled people on a day trip at Tao Fong Shan organized by their care center. It was their first outing in 2 years since the outbreak of Covid-19. Therefore, to them it was an invaluable experience. What would normally take and finish in 1 or 1.5 hours became 3 hours (including breaks and waits), as it turned out, it was an incredible experience for myself because I was required to slow down.
The Labyrinth is a place where patience is taught and practiced.
On this Walk With Tao Fong guided tour, I showed the participants to the Labyrinth and Garden of Angels. For me, the Labyrinth is a place where patience is taught and practiced. Although it was designed to be used as a way or tool to pray or seek God. However, it was God himself who require me to prepare: to slow down, wait patiently and seek him. Watching each participant walk slowly along the path at their own pace—none of them was in a hurry to catch up with anyone or tried to rush the others, waiting until the last person finished his/her journey. On this Labyrinth journey, we witnessed the bodies who might seem slow and weak to the world—rejected the presumed benefits of speed and effectiveness. It was truly a reflection on LIFE, rambling around Tao Fong Shan regarding of how able-bodied you are, our journey to the Lord will not be treated differently because of our physical disabilities or how fast we can walk. As if we were witnessing the beauty of the kingdom of heaven. It was because of their visit and the beauty of their lives my guided tour journey was enriched and became a true LIFE Walk with Tao Fong.
When the church learns to slow down for the weak bodies, it is a testimony to the world of “a different way of living in time”.
In chapter 2 of Living Gently in a Violent World: The Prophetic Witness of Weakness, the authors believe that the church would need L’Arche communities to remind ourselves to slow down. If we want to learn to be the most faithful people, then the kind of patience exhibited by L’Arche would be absolutely necessary. According to L’Arche’s Charter—”It seeks to offer not a solution but a sign, a sign that a society, to be truly human, must be founded on welcome and respect for the weak and the downtrodden.” When the church learns to slow down for the weak bodies, it is a testimony to the world of “a different way of living in time”. Through which are we able to slow down and show with our lives that the world will not be saved just because we hustle. When human beings place more importance on technlogy than company, we lose the ability to count on and believe in one another as we struggle in crisis. How speed accounts for the advancement in technology today, and how it has undermined our viability as humans.
Nonviolence is a sign of hope that indicates an alternative to war.
The book also mentions that speed accounts for violence in this day and age; L’Arche challenges the modern emphasis on speed. Christians are not called to nonviolence in order to rid the world of war—although we might desire to. Certainly, we ought to minimize the possibility of war, but nonviolence is a sign of hope that indicates an alternative to war. In reality, the whole world—especially in cities—has been dominated by speed, violence, and effectiveness. As church, we ought to slow down and reject this phenomenon.
We are a group of followers of Christ who admit that we are vulnerable and non-violent. We can only survive by slowing down and relying on Jesus Christ for our strength to face this world full of violence and war. May Jesus Christ use us, the church, to be the sign of hope.
LIFE (Living in Fullness Everyday) Walk With Tao Fong guides visitors through their journey on Tao Fong Shan and teach them to appreciate the many stages and paths of life. Find the source of life, discover the true self, and explore the meaning and learn to appreciate the value of life. Join us on our next LIFE event here (in Chinese only at the moment).
Written by Cheui Yi (At Will)