Good Faith Media is launching a new initiative called #SacredSpaces.
As the GFM staff begins to travel across the country again, we want to be intentional about recognizing the sacred locations where God’s presence permeates.
Recently, while working on a project about my Muscogee Creek great-grandmother, I visited the abandoned Chilocco Indian Agricultural School near the Oklahoma-Kansas border. My great-grandmother and her sister were sent to the boarding school created with the misguided purpose of seeking to “kill the Indian” in order to save the human.
As I walked across the campus assessing vacant buildings and dormitories, my emotions overcame me. In what was meant to be a place where my family’s cultural identity was to be eliminated, I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit as she swept across the campus.
Stopping at the broken fountain in the center of the campus, I offered a prayer. As I prayed, I reclaimed Chilocco as a sacred place where God’s children dwelled among darkness and where the Holy Spirit keeps the memories of children alive.
We encounter so many spaces where a heaviness transcends normality leaving behind an unexplainable presence. Wendell Berry wrote, “There are no unsacred places; there are only sacred places and desecrated places.”
Starlette Thomas, a GFM contributing correspondent and host of the podcast “The Raceless Gospel,” visited Ferguson, Missouri, where she spent time reflecting on the shooting of Michael Brown by a white police officer.
Her words are filled with lament, as she ponders the state of our culture when race is allowed to divide us. With her presence and words, she reclaims the sacredness of a street where a young man lost his life way too early.
In addition to these heavy moments where we find holiness amid darkness, there are other sacred places that rejuvenate and inspire the soul. From a hike in a national park to sitting outside watching the hummingbirds, sacred spaces are all around us. The omnipresent God lives all around us, filling the world with beauty, love and hope.
When Moses encountered God in a bush set aflame by divine presence, the Lord instructed Moses to remove his sandals for he was treading on “holy ground” (Exodus 3:5). Sacred spaces are not holy because of geography, but they become holy when God’s presence pours forth upon and within.
As people of good faith, we need to stop and notice such spaces. From Mecca to Wounded Knee, people acknowledge the sacredness of sites all over the world. We all worship a God who transcends our understandings, moving in and out of human history through revelation and silence.
GFM’s #SacredSpaces initiative seeks to provide an opportunity for our staff and friends to recognize and honor these places. We will be inviting others to participate in this project by recording a short video with a 60-second explanation of their sacred space.
If you’re interested in submitting a video, email GFM’s Media Producer Cliff Vaughn at firstname.lastname@example.org with your idea.
We will be posting #SacredSpaces on our website and promoting the initiative across all of our social media platforms. Feel free to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram to view the latest videos revealing #SacredSpaces.
CEO of Good Faith Media.