We Are…Holy Ground

Misc. 2013 031Recall the words spoken to Moses in Exodus 3:5:  “Then He said, ‘Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.’”  And recall the words written by Moses in Genesis 2:7:  “Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”  These words have resounded in my mind the past couple days.

On Tuesday, June 4th, I had a wonderful opportunity to travel with our CEO and seven others from our senior management team to New York City to be part of the NASDAQ Closing Bell ceremony in Times Square.  It was a surreal experience as were the other events of the day.

Four of us arrived early in the day in New York and felt that seeing the 9/11 Memorial, Wall Street, and the Statue of Liberty would be the best way to spend our precious few sight-seeing hours.  After dropping our bags at the hotel, and a subsequent thirty minute cab ride, we arrived within walking distance of the memorial.  After making our way through a long line to get a visitor pass, we then proceeded to the site that included several check points and a security scan detection system that could have rivaled most airports.

As I walked to the reflecting pool where the South Tower once stood I felt an overwhelming sense of awe, and even now as I write these words, my eyes are once again tearing up as they did on my approach to the pool.  How many times had I watched those buildings fall, and now I was standing right in that very spot where almost three thousand individuals lost their lives.  I began to hear the words in my mind, “this is hallowed ground.”  I felt that in each of my senses, as I heard the water flowing in the pool, as I touched the stone and stared at the names of so many lost lives.  This truly was hallowed ground.

We made our way to the North Tower reflecting pool to find the name of a sister of a co-worker.  She had been on Flight 11 that hit the North Tower.  I created a crayon etching of her name to take back to her brother and co-worker Matt.  This truly was hallowed ground.

As we proceeded through our morning we saw other sites packed with tourists stretching to snap a photo, and oddly, I got the same sense, that this was hallowed ground.  There was Trinity Church Wall Street, visited by Nicholas Cage in search of clues in the National Treasure movie series.  The New York Stock Exchange appeared as a gated community.  No one entered without security clearance.  There was Federal Hall where George Washington was sworn in as first President.  Across from it at 23 Wall Street stood the J.P. Morgan Building that I recalled from reading The House of Morgan.  We browsed jewelry at Tiffany’s and then made our way to Battery Park for a view of the Statue of Liberty.

At some point I reflected on the fact that so many people (myself included) were making such a thing of well-known historic buildings and landmarks, as if they stood on hallowed ground.  The question occurred to me, “Would God feel the same way?”  To Him, these are simply brick and mortar landmarks, nothing more; but we are His hallowed ground.  He resides in us.  He has accepted and included us.  We, collectively, are God’s holy ground.  He determined before the foundation of the world to include us in His Triune relationship.  Friends, in His eyes, we are far more precious than any of the sites I mentioned before, because we are holy ground.  We are much more than the problems we face.  We are far greater than the stresses we experience.  We are so much more beautiful than the jewels at Tiffany.  We are more majestic than the Statue that stands on Liberty Island, worth far more than the countless millions held over the years at the House of Morgan or traded on the NYSE.  In His eyes, we, my friends, are holy ground.

~by Craig Kuhlman

 

 

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