One year ago, my family took a road trip. That trip involved celebrating my daughter’s graduation from a home school program and that ceremony that took place was a sacred moment. Cedarcrest College in Pennsylvania will always be Holy ground to our family.
Later, we decided to travel to Washington D.C. There are plenty of places in that landscape that mark significant moments in history. As we ran toward our lunch destination in a cold rain, my eyes caught the sign protruding from a building a block away. “Ford Theater.”
Literally, I stopped. President Lincoln and I share a birthday so I have always held an interest in him. I recognized this spot. It’s where his life ended. The moment felt surreal as I realized that I stood on the same space as feet long ago when the announcement regarding his shooting took place.
A life transitioned in that space. Despite our gap in generations, I was connected to those who stood there in 1865 and everyone in between. It was hallowed ground known by it’s associated name.
Scripture attests to the ancient Jewish practice of naming land after the way God’s presence was experienced there.
“She (Hagar)answered God by name, praying to the God who spoke to her, “You’re the God who sees me!
“Yes! He saw me; and then I saw him!”
14 That’s how that desert spring got named “God-Alive-Sees-Me Spring.” That spring is still there, between Kadesh and Bered.” (Gen 16:13-14)
“Abraham named that place God-Yireh (God-Sees-to-It). That’s where we get the saying, “On the mountain of God, he sees to it.” (Gen.22:14)
Jacob named the place Peniel (God’s Face) because, he said, “I saw God face-to-face and lived to tell the story!” (Gen 32:30)
What if we started naming our places of transformation? How would that remind us of God’s character and the hope that is held despite what took place at various “land marks?”
As we make our way from one point to another, perhaps we can learn to see our view differently. May we remember that Heaven may have intersected the soil where we tread; either for us or someone else. “Remove your sandals. You’re standing on Holy Ground.”
What are you naming your sacred places?
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