Saturday, January 22, 2011
The three pictures are: Key, Kelly, and a Rwandan soccer ball.
Someone once talked about walking through a cemetery barefoot so as not to trample upon holy ground. It was a unique spiritual experience, and the person felt a closeness with God, an intimate bond. So one summer while visiting my parents, I took my daily walk through the Maryville College woods. And there at the edge of the trees next to the practice fields is a small cemetery. I took my shoes off, and I walked on the silky, moist grass in silence. And it was spiritual.
My oldest son, Key, suffers from a heightened amount of anxiety on a regular basis. We have learned lots of coping techniques. But what works better than anything is the great outdoors and good old fashioned prayer. Imagine. My eight year old has already figured out that life is easier with Jesus and a healthy dose of fresh air. So now I am a soccer mom carting two little boys all over the state to play in games and tournaments. Key is more relaxed during soccer season, for the most part. The one part that bothers him is the intense competition during tournaments. It is too much for eight year olds. As a parent I struggle between ripping him off the field or telling him to toughen up just a bit. Then, a couple of nights ago out at the soccer fields, I thought about my barefoot walk through the cemetery. I thought about holy ground. If it hadn't been freezing, I would have taken off my shoes. The realization I had is that holy ground is any ground. It is any ground we choose to recognize as part of God's creation. It is any ground that reminds us of Him. For Key, most of the time, these fields of green are holy ground. They are where he gets to run - lots. He runs in the outdoor air for 90 minutes several times a week. He sees his friends and he jumps and laughs and plays as an eight year old boy should. For that little while anxiety goes away. He is the boy God created him to be. So now that I have had this realization, now that I see newly holy in the ordinary, when he goes to tournaments (the one hard part of soccer), I can remind him not to stress, not to try to be perfect, not to worry about what others may think, not to try to be better than others - let all that melt away. I can remind him that he is on holy ground. His holy ground. He is not going out onto that field alone. Shoes on or shoes off, he has the Spirit in him, around him, standing next to him. Shoes on or shoes off, for this little while, fear isn't allowed out there - out on that field. Cause holy ground is holy. It is where for Key, he's free.