The sacred….

I recall when I lived in Murfreesboro, NC on Fourth Street there was a big tree on the corner adjacent to my house as fall approached and the leaves changed the tree began to show some of the most beautiful yellows and reds I’ve ever seen – my roommate loved this tree, I was never sure why. I would walk outside and just stare at the tree in all of it beauty I’d say “wow, God created that” it was the best showcase of Gods presence in midst of my own brokenness. Sometimes when I was feeling bold I’d walk over to the tree say a quick prayer then go in the house hoping no one saw me and would think I was weird. Well winter came meaning the leaves and colors went away, but the memory did not, I can see that tree even now and think about it often. Why? See its funny that I could see so much in that tree but not find depth with God during that time in my life, by my standards. Nowadays I like to think I’m a little wiser and have some depth about myself whether that’s true or not it’s what I tell myself. See I’ve realized that I saw God in that tree just as I see God in students at WCU or in the after school ministry. I found a place that was sacred ground, a place that made time stop, silenced noise and the voice of God was loud. That tree was my church, that tree was my inspiration, that tree gave me life when I was tired, in a sense it encouraged me. I know I sound silly giving a tree so much power and depth but I think the reality is we all have simple visual reminders that say “it’s okay, I’m The Lord, I understand”.

 I can’t speak for you, only myself when I say that I like to find God I the places people don’t go looking for him that way I can have my own altar, my own spiritual retreat at a discount rate, my friend that doesn’t talk back, my hiding place where I can be as quiet, still and introverted as I want to be. I since have moved and found a new thin place as I like to call it, a place where I can be thin and vulnerable free of the worlds judgement, a place where I can talk, laugh, curse, cry and most all be silent. While I think we all need those hiding places, I think it’s important that we allow ourselves to find scared ground wherever we are; sacred ground when we are stuck in traffic; sacred ground when we are on the phone with a friend; sacred ground in the beer aisle talking with a stranger about IPAs; sacred ground in the parking lot when the park you were eyeing is stolen – I’m sure you get the point there’s a lot of sacred ground out there you just have to find it. You’ll be better once you find it. I’m grateful to have seen sacredness in the eyes of babies, children, youth, young adults, senior adults, poor, rich, hungry, full, happy, hurt, healed, scared, and broken people.

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