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!