Kristin Bridgman’s life has been an anchor I can hold onto. She was minding her own business when God dropped a ministry on her lap, much like God has done with me. Reading her about her adventures always makes me feel stronger and more capable in Him. In fact, I’ve featured her over at my other blog What In The World R U Doing 4 Christ’s Sake. Her blog, Ponderings is one of my must reads, and this particular piece is flavored with such beauty and grace it takes my breath away.
“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
I would have never thought it four years ago. . .before the birth of the Blanket Ministry. But now I look out over the bridge,
especially underneath the bridge, where dirty mattresses lay,
crushed cans, cigarette butts laying on the four foot slab of concrete, the only place to sit and lay. . .the graffiti on the walls, faded colors from the years. . .yes, even here. . .this is holy ground.
God goes with me and others as we visit with the homeless. We have brought food, coffee pots, we have decorated Christmas trees for them; all of this, sharing the love of Christ; something new for them. They have come from chaotic lives that have no hint of real love, real joy, real grace. I always pray we bring a little of that to them. I believe God meets us there because someone always has a tear in their eye as we pray, as we leave. Hugs are shared. The love of God is shared. This is where I met Dave, Gordon, Larry, Daryl, and Melanie,
the woman who had all her fingers broken by her dad years ago.
“You shouldn’t judge a book by the cover unless you understand the story.”
I met Tony as he came into town.
He ended up at the bridge. Last Fall when I met him, he was scared and nervous from being homeless. . .this was his first time. We talked for two hours. I shared about the love of Christ. He knew it once, long ago but wasn’t sure about “all of that” anymore. We shared time together and he let me pray for him. Nine months later, his eyes were opened all the way and he rediscovered Jesus.
He rededicated his life and is now going to church on a regular basis with the young college guys who had been doing weekly bible studies with him these past few months. Holy ground amongst the trees, river, and bridge.
They showed me that no matter how deep the hole gets, God gives them what they need to make it day to day. They have shown me that even though the world sees dirty clothes, grubby faces, dirty hands, that they have strength, they have guts, they have humor that has not died with the circumstances. The ones so many call bums, these precious ones became my friends. This place brought people from two different worlds together to share with one another. Yes, this place is where I find I am standing on Holy Ground.
The downtown park, on the square as it’s called, is another holy ground. I have sat many times on these black, iron park benches visiting with the homeless;
the drug addicts, the alcoholics, the abused, the lost. All I do for the most part is lend them a listening ear. I share God’s love and offer a few of His truth’s and promises. I put my arm around them when they cry, I hug and I pray; such simple acts, such easy acts. They wouldn’t have been for me 4 years ago. But three years ago, the Lord led me to start a Blanket Ministry for the homeless, a comfort zone I could not believe He was asking to step out of. But I shouldn’t have been surprised, He’s been doing this to me for the last 15 years. Even though I go shaking like a leaf, I’ve learned to go. I am blessed every time.
On one of these benches I had the privilege of praying a man into the kingdom of God. He became my brother in Christ.
He still struggles, but He knows who he can turn to now. He prays with me every time we are together and he cries. Why? Because I think for the first time, he feels the holy ground beneath his feet.
This is also where I met Richard, the young man from Boston.
He had been abandoned.
He showed me the stories behind his tattoos and I listened. I shared about Jesus. He listened. He told me he would never forget me and what we talked about. Yes, holy ground out there among the businesses and dog walkers.
I’ve learned that if Christ Jesus is in us, then any ground we are standing on is Holy Ground, because He is always there. I pray that I honor Him with the ground I stand on, and in those times when I let Him down, I know I’m forgiven because I accepted the gift he offered from another holy ground, a holy hill, the place of His cross.
Did you know there are living graveyards and these are holy grounds?
“All of us are people walking through a living graveyard. Everywhere we go, among everyone we meet every day, there are the walking dead. There are people so radically impacted by death in one way or another that they are candidates not only for healing but also for resurrection; death of relationships, death of dreams, death of business, death of loved ones. And you and I have been prepared to bring a living answer.”
Yes, where there is God, there is holy ground. . . even underneath a bridge, a park, and in the living graveyards.
Won’t you join me on Fridays for a new series and linkup called, “Take Off Your Shoes, You’re On Holy Ground!” or TOYS? Each week a post will be shared about the significance of a place and you will be able to share as well!! Just 1) Write a post about how a place has ministered to you. 2) Add your post to the linkup. 3) Add the button to your post. 4)Visit and encourage your neighbors!
24 thoughts on “Standing On Holy Ground – Guest Post by Kristin Bridgman for TOYS”
I too am always blessed to read Kris’s words…”I’ve learned that if Christ Jesus is in us, then any ground we are standing on is Holy Ground…” amen…amen
My eyes are filled with tears – beautiful! Thanks for sharing your heart so openly, so tenderly. “I pray I honor Him with the ground I stand on.” I think you do, friend, and I pray I can too.
Thank you Ro, I am always blessed by your words too!
Thank you Deidra! And you do Deidra, you do!!!
Kristin this was just exquisite to read. Your heart for Jesus and your ministry for the downtrodden and misunderstood. This is all very inspirational and you make me want to search my heart and make sure I am being a good steward of God’s word to all those I meet!
Thank you so much Vicky! Even though I have never met you in person, I have no doubt that you are being an excellent steward of God’s word. I see this all the time through the screen. I only wish I could experience it side by side with you! 🙂
WOW. Kristin, thank you so much for asking me over here today. I’m in tears. I just can’t tell you how this has moved me, and it goes along perfectly with Alene’s post over at my place today. Thank you.
Thank you Amy. I just love Alene, thank you for sharing her story and thank you for coming here.
This was beautiful. When you write I always feel as if I am right there with you, sharing your journey. You have a great talent.
Thank you Shari, I don’t know about talent. I told God I could not write, and He said to me ‘just share your heart and I will do the rest’. The words are from Him!
Oh my – such a story after my own heart. My heart aches for those precious souls under the bridge, on the bench, or on the side of the road. Thanks for blessing them. You bless me girl!
Thank you Alene, you bless me! We’ll just keep lovin’ on them, ok? 😉
Kimberley, thank you for sharing Kristin’s post today. So very encouraging. The Jack Hayford quote really spoke to me. God bless you both.
His quote really spoke to me too. Thank you for coming by!
Amazing post. When the Holy Spirit is at work, any place is holy ground.
Thanks for hosting the linkup, and God bless,
Thank you! Yes, any place is holy ground when He is there. Thank you for coming by!
A wonderful story, and oddly enough, very appropriate in my life. As I engage with the church my wife and I work for, I am trying to break them out of their mold of “come to us”. The area I live in is VERY poor, some of the worst in Ohio and the US, and I would so love to move these church folk into more reaching out. I’m hoping that as my own health improves, VERY slowly, from my own decade of crash and loss, that I might gain the strength to drag our church friends out into the wider world.
And coming from the city of Chicago, I could show you some holy ground in truly terrifying places. Some of the holiest I ever walked and talked past was an infamous location called Cabrini Green. I’ll let you discover what made that place special. 🙂
Thank you for a wonderful tale, and a great lesson.
John you should check out love inc in your area, they are all about mobilizing tge church to look outward.
Thanks. Will do!
Thank you John, sounds like you could tell some tales yourself:) I’m still trying in my own small way to get my church “out” there. Some are coming around. We’ll just let the Holy Spirit keep working on that!
Thank you for coming by
Kristin, I’m so proud as always to call you friend. You are such an inspiration and a true example of what it means to be the hands, eyes, ears and voice of Christ. May God continue to bless, inspire and give you courage as you do His will. Love you!
This is awesome and refreshing to read. I am currently homeless and am an advocate for humanity. God is certainly using you. Thanks for treating those that you meet with dignity. So often, it is the opposite. Be blessed!!
What an example of serving and loving people — right where they are! I am so encouraged and inspired by this example.
Kristin is an amazing woman–a queen among those who shelter. I’m always blessed by her writing. Thank you for giving this space to a thought-encouraging post.