Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Holy Ground, Holy Land

My choir sings a hymn called "Holy Ground" which is stuck in my head at the moment. As I pack and prepare and try to finish everything (including a mission trip for youth) in time to get on the plane, I'm thinking and singing in my head about holy ground.

The Holy Land is a beautiful, prayerful, sacred, unholy, brutal and amazing place. I was there with CRS in 2000 for 10 days, and it changed my life forever. I knew I would never be the same when I came back. What I realize now is that everywhere we travel holds the opportunity to invite us to never be the same when we return. There was something in walking on holy ground that is still with me....and not even so much the holy ground that Jesus Himself walked on, the temple wall that Jesus must have laid eyes on........it's the holy ground that Jesus-in-disguise walks on every day---here or there. I will see the holy sites again, I will kneel in prayer, I will remember.

I'm reminded of a conference I attended in 1976 where I heard Henri Nouwen speak---he was speaking of a conversation that he had with a student about recognizing the presence of Christ in each other. That recognition led to this comment from the student--"From now on, wherever you go, or wherever I go, all the ground between us will be holy ground."

Holy ground is all around us, and all of it between us is holy.