Sunday, February 1, 2009

Holy Ground

knew palaces, inside,
(no wistful gazes from without)
Walked with kings
and gave commands,
tasted power
and cracked whips,
protected by his position.
It took a desert, stripped and barren,
instructions from One invisible,
loudly calling,
flames, searing but not consuming,
before he truly heard.

But I envy the clearness
of communication.
For I see no burning bush
blazing in my backyard.
No clear commands
invade my thoughts
cutting through common sense and staidness.
Lord, lead me out of Egypt,
from the protection of palace walls.
Lead me away
alone to unpeopled places.
Alone, I’ll take off my shoes.
Alone I’ll listen.
I’ll find You on Your holy ground.”
Joan Rae Mills

Holy ground. Sacred places. Breathing moments of glory and seeing Christ. This morning my heart was touched by such barefoot worship. Not evidenced in the perfect or the proud. Not in performance or platform. This morning God gave me the privilege of seeing several “burning bushes” with His fire flaming.

A young Mom who faithfully brings her children each week to church, yet longing and praying for her husband to embrace Christ, held her 6 year old daughter in her arms, smiling, swaying, raising their hands as they joined in song singing:
“We lift our hands in the sanctuary
We lift our hands to give You the glory
We lift our hands to give You the praise
And we will praise You for the rest of our days
Yes we will praise You for the rest of our days.”

Only a couple of rows ahead stood a young man who is a fairly new believer holding his infant daughter who just days before her first birthday was diagnosed with childhood leukemia. In sweet abandon, one hand too was raised in praise.

Two elderly saints on opposite sides of the church sat in worship, yet clearly their hearts were bowing in His presence. Unable to physically stand, their ‘sandals’ removed years ago, their feet now calloused from walking the holy ground for many years. Beautiful feet. Oh such beautiful feet.

In the choir two ladies captured and drew my attendance, not because they were seeking an audience. The very opposite. One, a single girl in her early 40’s whose life is lived out in rhythm to the beat of His drum. The other lady, a little older, a cancer survivor who heard the Lord speak through her own “burning bush” experience in the wilderness of her personal Mount Sinai. Both were oblivious to the presence of anyone, but God. My eyes felt they were witnessing divine beauty as I watched these souls dance before their King.

Tears streamed down my face as I felt I was witness to such intimacy. I saw God this morning in each one.

“Oh, praise the Lord!
‘This earth is crammed with heaven!’
Oh, praise the Lord!
And, Christian, look around!
For every bush you pass with fire is flaming,
And every spot you tread is holy ground.”

Thank you to those who prayed for our Ladies Day yesterday. The Lord blessed abundantly as we waited on Him. It was a precious day.

Celebrating Life with Lori Salierno, CEO "Celebrate Life International".

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Sita said...

How appropriate to read this after our part 2 on Holiness this morning. One of the things mentioned from this context in Exodus 3:
"The angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a (E)bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed.
3So Moses said, "(F)I must turn aside now and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up."
4When the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, (G)God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here I am."
5Then He said, "Do not come near here; (H)remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground." was after the Lord saw that Moses had turned aside that He called ou to him...
my prayer is that I will turn aside deliberately daily and take of my shoes to enter His holy Presence...
Beautiful inspiring post!

Marilyn in Mississippi said...


How good to read your post today. Glad you had a great day at the ladies retreat yesterday also. I have been SO out of pocket this week that I am just this evening getting caught up with reading your blog.

Love the picture. Your hair looks great.

Take care,

Your friend from down south,

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

This is an exquisite post, Joy. I'm not kidding. So rich with imagery and real worship. I had a few moments of real worship this morning at my church. After the 8:30 contemporary worship service, the band kept playing while everyone else filed out. I stayed and continued to sing with the band, hands raised and tears pouring. It was such a private and tender moment between me and God (of I've shared it with you); kind of makes me wonder if there was a sweeter spirit in our praises today, world wide. Indeed, I think our Father was playing good and close attention to his children.

Love you. Glad for your wonderful conference. Your hair is growing. Love it!!!!

Blog anniversary this week. Can you even believe it? Prizes I'm sure.