Friday, February 24, 2017

Fred Rogers (aka Mr. Rogers), a man who inspired millions of children through his PBS television program "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood", once said, “The space between my mouth and a child’s ear is holy ground.” That certainly raises the bar on how adults speak with children!
Holy Ground—those are also the words of God to Moses when he stood before the bush that burned, but was not consumed by fire: remove your sandals, for the ground upon which you stand is holy. 
Holy Ground. 
Sacred Space. 
A Place Set Apart. 
What makes a place holy?  Or a particular time sacred?  For me, the answer to these questions is: God’s grace.  But God does so through the heart we bring and the words we choose to hear and share. God's grace redeems me and causes my heart and head to shift into a posture of gratitude and humility, and my eyes see that everything shines with God's touch. 
In our media-saturated, information-soaked, twittered world, words are flung around casually, carelessly, hurtfully, insensitively.  Words are powerful and yet we sometimes overuse them or misuse them so much that they lose their power.  Words are sometimes like weapons used to cut another down and diminish the sacredness God instills, but they can also be used to reveal holy space, to convey love and blessing, to share Good News. 

A cliché we’ve all heard and perhaps used is “walk the talk”.  In other words match your actions with your words.  Perhaps it’s an impossibility—especially for those who are claimed by grace but are still weighed down by sin.  Yet it is something to which we should aspire.  No matter how difficult it may be we are to bridle our behaviors (and all those feelings that motivate us to act in critical, harsh, anti-redemptive ways) in order to rise to the life of the Word that was and is and is yet to be, the Word that transforms even hypocrites into the real estate of holy ground. 

I encourage you to let the space between your mouth and everyone else around you be holy ground.  We are stewards of our words.  We can use them carefully or carelessly.  And using words as weapons because others do so, is no excuse for those who confess to be reconciled by the One Who is The Word. 

© Stephen Carl

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