Trim Castle in County Meath, Ireland (near Boyne) is one of the largest castles in Ireland. It is known for the part it played the film Braveheart, and this one struck me as a "classic" castle with most of the "I learned about that in 5th grade" components.
It was built by a wealthy noble person, has a ringwork of outbuildings to protect the inner sanctum, has an external ditch (moat) surrounding it (filled with sewage), is located near a popular river, and has several inner rooms that lead to more inner rooms...
Living there must have really been an adventure.
One of my "new" accounts is not unlike this castle. I'm sure that the building was built by one of the wealthy noble people, the doctor. It consists of a ringwork of outbuildings that protect the doctors offices. There is a parking lot surrounding it and an external margin of nasty prickly bushes that prevent anyone from getting actually near the bricks (or the windows). It's accessible from a nearby boulevard but is not on that street - only a side road nearby.
The main building itself seems to be in the shape of two snakes on a stick (the medical symbol) and has many corners, as if it has been built upon and added-to across the ages. There are rectangular waiting rooms, a reception, long hallways and many defenses before one can get inside to begin to have a conversation. Once inside, the rooms are solid, sound-proofed with tiny windows to keep other patients from peeking in and keep privacy violations out.
I am just amused at while we are so post-modern in our society and have the very best health care, there is much brick and mortar that remains medieval. It's a human system, built for protection, privacy, care and compassion.
As I look at the similarities between modern-day doctor's offices and medieval castle fortresses, I reflect on how I have put up boundaries around my soul. I have a complete ringwork of outer selves that protect me from being authentically me. I know that sometimes information seems to take a long time to get down my heart/mind hallways - which means that I am slow to react. Once there, I wonder if I really "hear" or is my inner ear sound-proofed to what is really being said?
Today I pray for openness. I pray to let down my guard, just a little, and be authentically me. I pray that I might "hear" what others are "saying" when they are not speaking to me. I pray for presence of mind to listen to God's silent whispers, to bring healing and hope.
What is your inner castle like, in this moment?
You brought me out into an open place; you rescued me because you delighted in me. Psalm 18:20