Encountering the Holy

If I were to ask you what images pop into your mind when you hear the words ‘sacred’ or ‘holy’, what would you describe?  If you are like me, and grew up in a mainline protestant church, maybe you think of a sanctuary – tall ceilings, colorful windows with the light shining through at just the right angles.  Maybe you think of walking down the aisle to quietly receive communion, or kneeling at a chancel rail.  Maybe you think of hushed voices lifting reverent prayers.  Maybe you think of encountering God in such a place as this – feeling the sacredness of the space.

Maybe (if you are also like me) you think of being out of doors – standing on a mountainside, breathing deep the scent of pine needles, feeling at once the warmth of the sun and the cool of the breeze, gazing out at colorful wildflowers along the side of a stream.  Or standing at the edge of the ocean with your feet sinking deep into the sand as waves flow back and forth around you.  Maybe you think of encountering God the creator of all the earth in such a place as this – pausing to soak in the holiness of the moment.

These moments call to mind for me words like quiet, still, reflective.  And yet I also feel that they are not the only times, spaces, and words that describe the sacred and holy.  

Especially as a mom of young children, I find it difficult to have many of these quiet, still, reflective times and spaces.  And so I am working to embrace the sacred and holy in moments that look very different. 

For me, I am finding that I can also experience a sacred and holy encounter with God in the rambunctious, loud, messy middle.  It is a sacred and holy moment singing along (at the top of our lungs) in the car with my kids, “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart!”.  It is a sacred and holy moment to laugh until I cry with a friend while sharing a meal together.  Laughter, dancing, singing, cheering – these are also moments when I encounter God, the creator of ALL of life and give thanks.

Yes, the quiet, reflective moments are needed – and so are the loud, more chaotic ones.  God is in it all.  Where will you encounter the living God today?

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