Jael Rodriquez

I told a couple friends recently how essential I think it is for us to recover the word “holy” and the notion of “holiness.” For years (the reasons why are another story), these words made me grimace. And it’s not lost on me that sometimes the people who use this language the most seem to know the least about it. 

One friend replied, “So when you think of holiness, what do you think of?” 

Here’s my answer:

I think of fire that burns so hot you crave to be near it – but you tremble too at its ferocity. I think of those stunning moments (at the edge of the Grand Canyon, at the birth of your child, in the terrible reckoning with how the pain you carry-and the pain you inflict-reveals wounded love) pierces you so profoundly that you know something deeper than you have ever known it before. And you have no words. But somehow in that strange, unspoken knowing, healing happens.

I think of becoming truly human, more alive as the fire burns, the piercing cuts, the balm heals. 

And God is the fire, the one who pierces, and the balm. 

13 Replies to “Holy”

  1. This morning I read Psalm 5 in the Passion Translation: “Every morning I lay out the pieces of my life on the altar and wait for the fire to fall upon my heart.” [v.3b] Your piercing and powerful words put context in this for me. Thank you, Pastor Collier………Abba~Papa has used you once again to fasten my heart to Him.

  2. Winn, I read this last night, and have been contemplating it ever since. So much to process, yet you bring it all together so beautifully in the last sentence. At my first time reading, I thought, yes, holy is scattered about a lot, which led me into a deeper processing of what definition I would give it. Then I reread your post, and realized both the depth and simplicity that you found in your definition. It is perfect. God is all of those, and only He can disburse holiness.

    I’m rereading my advanced copy of Burning in My Bones for the second time. It struck me that Eugene would be very pleased with your understanding and description of holy.

  3. Dear Winn, When Christ came into my life at 6 years old His Holy Spirit came too and he has never left me and will be with me through out eternity. I love to sing my praises to Him every day and night. One of my favorite songs was written by Laurie Klein in 1976 and many people world wide know it too. I love you Lord and I lift my voice to worship you, oh my soul rejoice. Take joy my King in what you hear , may it be a sweet sweet sound in your ear. Praise him. I thank Him for my voice that I can praise and worship Him. My Savior and Lord. I can’t live without Him. My one plea is that the world may see Christ in me every day. Love in Christ, Lillian

  4. Hi Winn, Welcome to Michigan winters on the Western coast. I am over on the other side of the State in Midland.
    Peace and Blessings

  5. Someone once said we tend to think of the world in terms of secular vs. religious, but the right perspective is to view it as sacred or profane. I love what you’ve written because it reminds me of this. I’d like to give more thought than I do to what is sacred from God’s viewpoint and what He considers profane.

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