The Geometry of Healing

Recently, I attended a Circle Keeper’s gathering at Sojourner Family Peace Center, my place of ministry, a gathering based on the circle model of restorative justice. The group that evening was racially, economically, gender, and experientially-diverse. As each participant, in turn, picked up a talking piece, full attention was given to that person alone until they had shared what they wanted to share. Wounds buried surfaced and were held up to the light, which began the process of healing ragged edges. I was struck by how similar and universal our individual woundedness seemed and by the healing power of circles.

We must have been created to be part of circles, rather than lines. Lines can be relational but only at the point of intersection. Circles, on the other hand, embrace. Lines can lengthen, but only on one end or the other. Circles widen, making room for more. Lines are not very welcoming. When we stand in line, we see only the back of the person in front of us but when we stand or sit in a circle, we can look into the eyes of everyone who sits with us. It is in a circle that we find community; it is in community that we can begin to heal and thrive.

What circles beckon you? Where do you find healing and connection?

Kathy Flynn OP
Milwaukee, WI


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