Bali: Sacred Offerings

The second half of the Bali adventure was solely dedicated to relaxing.

c Our breakfasts at the Alila resort were amazing. They consisted of local fruits, eggs, freshly made pineapple juice, breads/rolls/croissants with butter…oh so much buttah…and homemade coconut jams and apricot jams…ah how I already miss breakfast time with Luvah!

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We soaked up some serious sunshine the past few days and become professionals at ordering poolside service. (Professionals as in…we do this so strikingly well someone should pay us). (Insert reader eye roll).

I started and finished another book within a day. I truly cannot tell you the last time I’ve had that kind of time to read an entire book in such a short time. Or better yet, I can’t remember the last time I’ve had such little distraction to do so. This book I read was called Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey. She is an artist with words and the truths she proclaims resounds of both wisdom and peace, of action and patience. Another great read! Buy it, read it, let’s discuss it together, shall we?

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Another highlight of the trip has been taking a dip in the Indian Ocean—a first for both Stephanie and me. We were on a black sand beach, but the water was so warm and clear! She and I could have floated there for hours.

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Perhaps the crown of our trip was the last sunset we would witness in Bali. We walked on our black sand beach for a few minutes to watch the sky change before our eyes. Every color imaginable was dripping with brilliance. It was as if a Great Artist painted stroke by stroke a new shade to surprise and delight us—each new tint of color taking our breath away. We wandered down the shoreline until we knew we had to turn around before dusk swept over the path home. The sunset was holy—we could barely mutter a word. We would turn around to walk back and pause—just one more peek back. At one point, we were slowly walking backwards in fear of missing yet another glorious tint of a revolving sky—too sacred and hallowed to turn our backs on.

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One of the more striking things I’ll remember from Balli are the sacrifices arranged at almost every doorway, shop, street sidewalk, car dashboard…everywhere throughout the island. These sacrifices, called Canang Sari, are made of banana leaves and are filled with various things like flowers, rice, money, or even a little piece of candy. They are tokens of piety and gratitude. I couldn’t help but giggle a bit whenever I’d see a random cracker or candy in one, often thinking to myself, “That’s so random!”

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The more I encountered, the more I thought about what would be in my own Canang Sari. On a normal American day…perhaps some money. A few strands of Eleanor hair. A sample cup of filled frozen yogurt (cake batter).

But my Bali Canang Sari…it would be filled with the countless laughs Steph and I shared. A torn page from my journal. A (melted) ice cube from my Nalgene. Perhaps a little sprinkle of black sand and few flowers of different colors to represent that sunset. Sacred offerings.

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What would be in your Canang Sari, your sacred offering? A portion of your paycheck? A empty Starbucks gift-card used to take a hurting friend out? Another changed diaper? These are sacred offerings too.

I’m going to dedicate an entire post on the people of Bali—they’re unlike any people group I’ve met. Kindness and gentleness radiate this nation—I am taking away so much more than what I came with.

But until that post, may kindness and gentleness radiate your entire beings—letting your offerings be sacred, genuine, and maybe even a little random.

I’ll leave you with a page from Jesus Feminist of a quote from one of my favorite poets:

mary

 

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