Tuesday, March 10, 2020
My call to ministry came to me when I was 12 years old. It was also my earliest recollection of an encounter with the holy. In Social Studies, we were required to do a “current events” report each week. Normally, I just cut out whatever I could find in that Sunday’s Dallas Morning News, and glued it to a piece of notebook paper, wrote the minimum three sentence description and shoved it into my folder. And I prayed that Mrs. Carr wouldn’t call on me.
This Sunday, however, was different. It was about this shroud in Turin, Italy. It was purported to be the shroud that covered Jesus. I began reading the article. The photographs taken by Secondo Pia in the 1930’s showed what he saw when he looked at the film negatives and saw a positive image. All I had to do was cut out the first one, write a few sentences, and be done. But I could not put it down. I wanted Mrs. Carr to call my name!
The paper ran a series of articles every single day of that week. Each day, after school, I grabbed the paper, and I read the article and cut it out to save it. As I continued to reflect on what I read and saw, the article ceased to be about the shroud and its authenticity or inauthenticity. It became my burning bush. I found myself on holy ground every time I pulled out the paper … almost like I needed to take off my shoes.
In this season, we are offered the opportunity to experience the holy. It may not be a burning bush. It might be as mundane as a newspaper article or social media post. It might be as ordinary as looking into the eyes of someone we love … or perhaps someone who is marginalized. These holy encounters come at us when we are often going about our daily lives. They sneak up on us and catch us off guard. Be ready! At any given moment the ground on which you stand may be holy!
Lord, call us to the ground that is holy. There may we meet you! Amen.