Cold concrete stairs, chill seeping through my feet. This company of joined voices is raised in worship in the chilly early spring night. Hearts and voices raise as one, and for a few moments, there is unity. I take off my shoes. This is holy ground.
Muddy grass so saturated in water that it wells up between my toes. My roommate, my friend, my sister in Christ, walks beside me in the warm air. Secrets and dreams and prayers are shared, and where we two walk together in His name, God walks with us. I leave my shoes behind. This is holy ground.
A dorm room, thin carpet barely covering the hard floor. Tears and fears and the holy love of God pour out over the girls weeping there. Kick off your shoes and cry with them. This is holy ground.
A carpeted floor, squashed together by chairs and people and the looming ceiling. Claustrophobia. Chapel in Town Hall, hundred of souls swelling in fervent chorus. An impassioned speaker calls us to repentance. We weep, we repent, we are moved as God moves among us. Reverently I remove my heels. This is holy ground.
Warm, dry, wood, gentle and unyielding, rough and comforting. Rain pours down, and I huddle in the gazebo with my computer and books. A thousand things to do, books to read, papers to write, lines to memorize. But the peace of the rain and the comfort of the cool spring air beckon, and I pray. For my brothers and sisters, for unity, for the love that ought to bind us. For the future. For the broken-hearted. For peace. I take off my shoes. This is holy ground.
Where God is, there the ground is holy; and God is in all places. And though I will care for my body, this temple of the Holy Spirit, and will cover my feet at the appropriate times, everywhere I stand is holy ground, and I want to live in that knowledge.
Take off your shoes.
You are standing on holy ground.