Junk Drawer Shrine

My spiritual junk drawer is cluttered with the slings and arrows of a lifetime. Doubt and anxiety tend to accumulate like chewed up pencils and there are cracked and worthless lenses constructed decades ago that taught me to see the world in color, size, gender, education and class. Crumpled in the corners I can still find sticky notes crammed with bad theology and society’s condemnation for living and loving as a queer woman.

So how do we reclaim a time when our neatly lined drawer was open and inviting?

This practice begins with a visit to a local thrift store. Here in Holland thrift shops are called kringloopwinkles. Kringlooping is the verb we use when we call up our best friends Kristi and Hans, when we want to while away the day picking over the treasures that others have cast off as trash. 

The invitation:

Find an old drawer of moderate size and depth. The older and more weathered, the better. Imagine the drawer mounted on a wall, or sitting upright on a small table. The drawer should provide a shelf large enough for a few, small items of personal significance and a votive candle holder. When looking for your drawer, pay attention to the color of wood, shape of handles and anything else about it that feels like it would create just the right sacred space for you.

Mount on a wall, or place it on a table with the open drawer facing you. Mine is mounted outside on the brick wall of my garden. 

Add to your drawer just a few items of significance. Maybe one item for each color of the rainbow, a cross if that symbol resonates with you, a picture of a loving family member or even a small icon of a saint or historical figure who influences your ideas of justice and peace. Perhaps you have a stone or seashell picked up on a significant day in your life – add that. 

Add a tiny box or bowl, to hold a single, folded slip of paper. 

Write a wish, hope or prayer and place it in the box or bowl inside the shrine.

Light a tea light inside the votive holder (please don’t leave it unattended) 

Inhale slowly, thanking yourself for the creation of your shrine.

Exhale slowly, lifting today’s prayer to God.

Gracious and loving God,

help me clear the clutter of an accumulated life.

Redeeming Christ,

create in me a willingness to let go of the junk that prevents me from seeing the world as you do.

Gentle Spirit,

open my heart in order to see you in the vastness of your creation. Amen

Add and change items and prayers to your shrine over time.

You can also download this drawer, all fresh and empty, to collage a shrine to add to your journal or post on your wall.