Exploring the ruins of old Central State Hospital with my family. If you want to get out to see what’s rumored to be one of Indy’s most haunted places, I suggest you do it soon. They’re renovating the grounds. Just be warned – the legality of such activities is, uh, questionable.
I don’t care whether ghosts are real or not, but I love going ghost hunting. Like, out in a graveyard in the middle of the night, or stepping over glass and debris in an abandoned building ghost hunting.
I do this for two reasons.
First, I’ve probably watched way too much Supernatural and wish I was a Winchester. (I own that.)
But second and more important: when people hear I’m going on a ghost hunt, they assume I’m bonkers. (Probably true.) So bonkers, in fact, that I’ll listen to their story about an unexplainable experience they had without judging them.
And I absolutely will.
You have no idea how many people carry these stories until you announce to the world you’re doing something as silly as a ghost hunt. If I had to put a number on it, I’d say one in four people I talked to either had a story about their own experience or about someone they trust. There’s just not a good time to bring that sort of thing up without looking like you’ve lost your marbles – unless of course the person you’re telling has already lost her marbles and brought it up in the first place.
I don’t care about ghosts, but I do care about those stories, those experiences. I care that people have a safe place to talk about them.
I’m a pretty open book about my spiritual life for the same reason I tell people I’m going ghost hunting. I want them to feel safe to tell their stories, especially the weird, wild, unsanitized, work-in-progress, not-really-sure-if-this-means-I-need-medication faith stories.
(If I look foolish in the process, all the better. No one wants to talk religion with someone who looks like they have it all together or, worse, has all the answers.)
Those stories – the honest, unedited ones – are sacred, because at their heart they are about how God is meeting us right now. And if you listen, they are everywhere.
Your spiritual journey is sacred. You know that, right?
Your questions and your searching and your worry, the stories you tell – those are holy ground. If we arrive at different points in our searching, I’m fairly sure it’s because holy ground is actually pretty big. Like, galaxies big. So big it takes all our different human experiences to cover it.
So when I ask you about your religion, or your spiritual life, or what you believe, I’m not expecting a definitive answer. I’m just curious what holy ground looks like from where you are.
And to those of you that have been kind enough to share your stories with me – thank you.