Sunday, July 14, 2013

How do we define holy?

Before you read this post, I encourage you to scroll to the bottom and listen to the music in the background of your reading. "What do I Know of Holy," by Addison Road, is one of the most beautiful songs I know. I hope you enjoy it.

According to the dictionary, the word "holy" has two definitions. 

But what do we know of this word? What do we know of a word that seems so untouchable because we struggle with sin daily?
  1. Dedicated or consecrated to God or a religious purpose; sacred: "the Holy Bible"; "the holy month of Ramadan".
  2. (of a person) Devoted to the service of God: "saints and holy men".
To me, you can't really put your finger on holy. Because holy comes in many forms. Holy can be ugly and it can be beautiful. It can be dull, bright, easy, difficult, but mainly it's grace-filled. I've experienced it in the dark of the night, when I can't seem to breathe and I've met holy in the dawn of a new day, when my breathe somehow catches itself back into my body's rhythm. 
To me holy means listening. It means learning every single day, by meditating on the word. But it's mostly about loving people like Jesus did. That's what I know of holy.

Tonight I read a blog about a woman who was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2010. Here are her reflections on the word "holy" She truly has a gift with words. You can read more of her thoughts at

This morning God reminded me that perhaps it is precisely right here, where I sit, that holiness is discovered. 'Holy' might just be found in holding a hand through anxiety or cleaning that which is dirty or picking up what has been spilled. Because holy is not, has never been found in pristine and perfect. Instead it shines through the messy brokenness that defines our lives.

Holiness shone brightly in a dirty, dung-strewn stable. Holiness advanced through washing dirt-caked feet. Holiness radiated from the wounds of a thorny crown and the horrendous reality of a brutal, criminal's death on a splinter-infested cross. Now that was holy. And there was nothing pretty or desirable about it. It met no one's definition of perfection. Nevertheless, holiness found its definition in Jesus.

Think about how you define holy. How you live it. How you see it.
Play hide and seek with it this week.
You may find you in a dark, lonely place- when you're just not sure if there is an ounce of care left inside you.
Or it may find you in the dawn of the morning and kiss your face and say, " I love you."

It's there. 
I'll leave you with a video from a great band, Addison Road. The title is, What do I know of Holy. (Kind of fitting, huh?)



Angela Parlin said...

What a beautiful song! I hadn't heard of them, thank you! Such great thoughts about holiness...I do agree it's in the listening, and in the daily, as we seek God in all we do.

Your blog is inspiring...I'm enjoying reading through some of it!

Anonymous said...

I have that song in my phone, I really love it!