I used to believe that for something to be sacred it had to happen within the four walls of a designated worship center.
It had to lean towards the actual act of worship itself, communion, prayer and the gatherings of God’s children on Sunday mornings.
In my mind (Bethany four years ago) those were the only things that were and could be sacred. They were wrapped up and hidden in the house of God and no one could see them but God and His children. I thought that sacred = church.
Then I started having these moments that had nothing to do with church that would give me this overwhelming feeling that something deep inside of me was happening.
It was like a quickening in my spirit and movement in my chest. I knew that the Spirit was a part of these moments I just wasn’t sure if I could call them sacred.
When my faith started to explode and the God illusion that I had shattered and I started picking up the pieces of what was and putting them in different places, places of what should be; I started to see sacred everywhere.
A look exchanged between two people, a hug, someone doing my dishes or helping to give me a shower after surgery. Those are things I saw as sacred and holy even though they did not happen within church walls.
They were albeit sacred and secular.
I think many believers shy away from thinking that the sacred and the secular can be combined because of how we are told to be in the world but not of the world. So to stay away from anything the world has to offer.
In truth, I have found more sacredness in the secular that I have within the four, “called holy” walls of the church.
For me, my most sacred moments are when I look at my daughter while she’s asleep and I say to God “Wow you really wanted me to be her mom didn’t you” and I am awestruck at the fact that God gave life to me when I had no life.
I find holy and sacred in music, and not worship music. Most of my worshipful moments over the last two years have been with Mumford and Son’s. The music and lyrics are so powerful and they take me out of where I am and to a place where I may be singing but my heart is in a different place; a place that I have been able to go in church.
Church always felt very rule bound and strict. I never felt like I could fully open up and be me in every part of what that means. If I were to fully express who I am I would be shut down as overly emotional or too sensitive. So I stifled my emotions.
Those emotions are sacred though. They are sacred because they are a part of me. They make up who I am, in my essence and my personality and that is sacred.
When I started writing again I was afraid, afraid that no one would listen and HEAR me. I didn’t want to pour my life out on the screen of a blog to have them bounce all over the cement of an empty room. My words are part of me and thereby sacred as well. The more I crawled out of hole and put my voice out there the easier it became, even when I was writing about hard, dirty and non church like things.
Those things to me are how the sacred and the secular cross paths in my life. I don’t think it matters what’s seen as sacred between persons and with that there’s no reason to dismiss what they call sacred.
I also find red lipstick sacred. It makes me feel good, wild, free and spirited. It captures the essence of my soul and puts it in tangible form.
I want to empower each and every one of you to find you sacred, your holy.
Write it down so you know where to go when you are having a moment, or a day or even a week so you have a way to look back and remember.
Put them on a piece of paper and stick it in a jar. I am trying that this year, so far I did really well in January and have forgotten since. Writing this post though helped me to remember to get back in the practice of doing that.
I want to hear about your Holy and Sacred. I am running a series starting today featuring different writer friends from Facebook and Twitter. Posts will be featured each Tuesday.
Email me with your thoughts email@example.com
We would love to hear what you think about sacred and holy. Where it intersects, how it plays out in the world and most important:
How do you find it, see it or practice it in daily life.
April 2, 2014 at 8:18 am
Amen!! “Church always felt very rule bound and strict. I never felt like I could fully open up and be me in every part of what that means. If I were to fully express who I am I would be shut down as overly emotional or too sensitive. So I stifled my emotions.”
Your words resonate with me I too have found the Church to be too full of rules and while I found myself I also lost myself in the same place. I think God was working despite my environment. Now I feel I need to let go some of the chains the Church placed on me.
To finding the holy in the secular, outside the four walls.