On Sacred Ground

“This life, therefore,
is not righteousness, but growth in righteousness;
not health, but healing;
not being, but becoming;
not rest, but exercise.
We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it.
The process is not yet finished, but it is going on.
This is not the end, but it is the road.
All does not yet gleam in glory, but all is being purified”

~ Martin Luther ~

I have noticed, over the past couple of days that, as my feet have crossed the threshold from one day into the next, so too have I entered into a deeper and deeper place of subdued pause.  Granted, I am also exhausted after having been away on a hectic business trip last week, but in a lot of ways, this very trip is what has opened up the portal that led to where I am finding myself to be right now.

It started with me realising that I was in the same part of the country as someone with whom I had once shared and experienced something profound.  I spent some time reflecting upon our online meeting and how he had offered me the gift of his brokenness and humanity.  Before I realised it, waves of memories and emotions coursed through me, until I found myself in a place of quiet and feeling quite subdued and humbled.  And in case you’re wondering, yes, I was misty-eyed…in fact, I am quite misty-eyed as I sit and put this down in writing, this evening.

Reflecting on (let’s call him) Peter and wondering where he is and how he is doing, has heightened my awareness of the blessings that I have encountered in my life.  Some are treasures that have been lying in wait of discovery up till now, while others have been in my awareness for quite some time.  Nonetheless, I am a deeply and beautifully blessed human being and I have so much to be thankful for.

Taking the time, not to count my blessings, but to actually name them is what has brought me to this place of pause.  I have specifically identified four profoundly meaningful moments in my life, and I have made the decision to share them with you over the coming days, because they deserve to be honoured so that my gratitude may be made complete.

I have experienced this time of introspection while having a voice booming internally, “take off your shoes, because you are standing on sacred ground.”  And indeed, it is sacred!

It reminds me of the story of Moses and the Burning Bush, where God/Yah/Great Spirit/That-Which-Is-Greater-Than-Us said, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”  More pause.  More introspection.

Most people have been told that God’s instruction to Moses was based on the creature (Moses) coming into contact with the Creator (God); that it had to with it being a sign of reverence and respect, but that is only partly true.  The sad thing is, as with the rest of the Bible, the human, cultural and practical elements are oftentimes overlooked because of the search for the lofty, yet the lofty and truly awe-inspiring are found in these very elements.

Would you remove your shoes if you were planning to leave somebody’s home?  Or better yet, would you remove your shoes if you had no intention of sticking around?  And I won’t even elaborate on what the consequences would be if one were to remove their shoes and venture out into a cruel terrain that consists of scorching sand, sharp rocks, thorny underbrush and poisonous asps.  If I’m going to walk out there, I want a pair of hiking boots let alone a pair of sandals!

Case in point:  It goes beyond God seeking respect and reverence from Moses.  God seeks Moses’ companionship – God is pretty much asking, “Moses, will you stay a while with me?”

And like Moses, my only response is one of making myself present to the sacred ground upon which I now stand, and removing my shoes in silence.

Silence is the language of God, all else is poor translation.”

~  Rumi  ~