i was raised immersed in religion. immersed in a gospel that spoke of eternity, choices and standing in holy places.
while i consider temples to be holy places on earth, i have experienced other hallowed grounds. locations that have startled me with their sacredness, much like a an ordinary bush must have taken moses by surprise.
in high school i remember flying into washington dc for the second time in my life. as the plane descended into reagan national, i was overcome by the expanse of green dotted with white of arlington national cemetery.
during college i lived by an active volcano in mexico and explored ancient ruins. on a weekend trip to oaxaca i loved monte albán. we arrived before other tourists, making our visit somewhat solitary and somehow solemn.
standing there i felt something strong that i have never forgotten. it felt as if i walked on hallowed ground. we were reverent, only later sharing our similar feelings with each other.
nearly one year after 9/11 i visited new york city for the first time. along with a visit to times square, the empire state building and the statue of liberty i witnessed ground zero.
staring down into that devastating pit, i felt peace.
years later i would explore machu picchu. the first day disappointed me. it seemed so commercialized.
the second day took my breath away.
a few months ago i sat with a friend in a taco time. an unlikely place for communion with its 106-flavor coke machine. two christians from differing religious backgrounds, we met as friends in christ that day.
we shared our struggles. we exposed our failures and our shortcomings. we acknowledged our fears. we spoke words of comfort. we bore one another’s burden.
she, a mother of three, desperately trying to find meaning and purpose in her often monotonous routine. me, on the verge of quitting my job, desperately trying to find meaning and purpose without any children.
but that day, our commonalities were more than our differences. that day, i was overwhelmed by the spirit i felt, sitting in a turquoise colored booth, at taco time.