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Posts Tagged ‘#holyground’

 

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Boxing Day I was roasting a turkey, anticipating the arrival of some of the most special people to our Christmas feast all while padding around the house in my pjs and bare feet.

As I was placing napkins at each spot, movement outside the doors caught my eye.

A small crow walked to the bottom of the deck stairs, looking up as if it’s stare would bore hole in me.

I went outside towards it. It did not fly away.

I wondered if it was hungry with snow covering the ground. The peanut and almond butter I set at it’s feet went untouched.

I approached, slowly, cautiously. I bent low, and noticed how soft and fluffy the feathers on the top of it’s head looked … as if it were still young. I took a deep breath, and reached out … it didn’t move as I gently touched it’s head.

The day before, a crow was hovering near our front patio door, our kitchen window and deck. I felt certain that this was that same bird. Felt certain that it was asking something of one of us, of me.

I rummaged through my container of rags for an old towel.

I approached, reached out, petted it’s head, then slowly, carefully, lay the towel over the back of the bird, and scooped it up into my arms.

And it let me. It was as if I was simply fulfilling it’s wordless wishes.

For the next fifteen to twenty minutes I held that bird in the crook of my arm, watching it’s chest rise and fall, it’s eyes open and close, standing, barefoot, on my deck, while my turkey roasted and my preparations stood still.

Until the bird was still, and tears fell.

God said, “Don’t come any closer. Remove your sandals from your feet. You’re standing on holy ground.” Exodus 3:5

 

 

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IMG_0011As I perused the written and photographic materials for my gifted trip of a lifetime, my imagination was ignited when I saw the ariel image of an extensive, hedged driveway. All of a sudden my dream had focused from the macro of being in Italy, to the micro of walking of walking this massive pathway.

On my seventh day at the Tenuta Bichi Borghesi estate I finally stepped into the over one hundred and fifty meters of expertly trimmed hedge avenue.

I am not sure why it took me so long! Perhaps, in the deep recesses of my heart, I was afraid that my desires had built up this dream, beyond what it would be like, to wander this private oasis. Perhaps I was simply postponing this personal gift, so as to extend that anticipation. Or, perhaps, I was just too busy taking in all of the preliminary events and pleasures of the estate, it’s fruits, it’s people.

So, on that hot afternoon, I took my first steps into the cool avenue, protected from the glare of the sun.

And I felt it …

bubbling up inside of me,

causing goose bumps to form on my humid skin,

causing my heart to flutter,

causing my legs, my feet, to want to skip,

like a child, inhibited by societies norms and expectations.

Child-like joy.

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I spent fifteen minutes walking, skipping, sitting on a marble bench, snapping photos and pausing to breath in the fresh, heady scent of the air, the dirt, the greenery.

I reached the end to find an enormous dual swinging metal gate, that must have been ten feet tall. I felt it’s cool, smooth rungs, and wondered at the hands that formed it with the heat of fire, heavy, pounding tools, and workmanship and skill rarely seen today.

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On my return, to where I began, I walked slowly, reverently, uttering only words of thanks for all that I was able to see, to hear, to smell, taste and touch on my gifted opportunity to wander.

Praise makes holy, hallowed, everything in it’s presence.

It was a pilgrimage of praise, on holy (hallowed) ground.

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Hallowed by thy Name
There’s something in the sound of the word hallow;
A haunting sense of everything we’ve lost
Amidst the trite, the trivial, the shallow,
Where nothing lingers, nothing seems to last.
But Hallowed, summons up our fear and wonder,
And summons us to stand on holy ground.
To sense the mystery that stands just under
Familiar things we’ll never understand.

Hallowed be thy name: the name unspoken,
The name from which all other names arise,
The name that heals the sick and binds the broken,
Whose living glory calls the dead to rise.
You make this prayer my rising and my rest
That I might bless the name by which I’m blessed.”
Malcolm Guite

 

 

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This week began busy, is ending busier.

This week began with a head full of plans for a fun day for two of the students I get to work with. Days like this are much more enjoyable, and more work … crossing i’s, dotting t’s …

They, the two young men, who live with challenging Special needs, are in their final year of high school.

In just two weeks, when they cross the stage to receive their diplomas, their lives will change. Change can be more challenging when one’s life started out with challenges.

They spent the beginning of their day, together, like many of their days in high school. They shared breakfast with the rest of the graduates, then drove around the school parking lot, beeping horns, disturbing the staff and students who were in the midst of classroom learning. Then off to a movie, joined by three who wanted to share the experience as they had shared many days of high school … together.

It was a holy ground, it was a sacred, moment.

How, you might ask, could teenage boys, diner-style breakfast, beeping your car horns and popcorn be sacred? Not one of those things is sacred in itself, but with the intervention and participation of God, the breakfast is like communal meal, beeping car horns like the singing of angelic chorus’, watching a movie with friends like sharing in fellowship with the saints. When God is involved in the lives of the participants, the sacred absorbs the secular, the mundane becomes the miraculous.

This dear pair of young men, and their faithful friends, shared moments and memories that day, that made one realize where they are, and recollections of where they have been.

God’s grace was on them at conception, God’s grace is on them now, and by the grace of God, they will be under His care for every day allotted to them.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with them both (2 Corinthians 13:14).

 

 

 

 

 

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