By Meagan McCall & Images by Timothy Weisemann
We arrived at the dump which happens to sit right next to the cemetery. I see the smoke rising like a cloud and smell the stench of burning trash. I see a few men off to the side. They have bags filled with other peoples garbage. One persons trash is another persons treasure.
I walk through the trash looking down at the ground beneath my feet. I am one of the only ones with sandals on. My feet are filthy. Everyone thinks Im crazy for not wearing real shoes. As I stare down, I pass by old shoes, rotten fruit, and pieces of cloth. I spot a marble and pick it up. I wipe it off and stick it in my pocket as a reminder.
As I continue to walk and look at the ground, a song pops in my head. The words are something like:
This is holy ground
Im standing on holy ground
And I know that there are angels all around
My feet are almost black. There is waste everywhere. There are swarms of flies. There is smoke and dirt in my eyes. Yet, Im singing about this being holy ground? It doesnt make sense.
I go to the edge of the dump and look down into the river below. It is also filled with trash. There is an older couple picking through things. Kids are running back and forth. As Im staring down, Ezekiel 47:12 comes to my mind
Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.
This doesnt make sense to me either. This river is filthy. It looks like nothing good could ever come from it. Then, the Lord begins to open my eyes.
Jesus went to the dirty places. He touched the filthy people. I guarantee His feet were black with dirt most of the time. But every place those feet touched was holy ground. This is what He wants me to do.
Jesus, God in the flesh, is a cleansing river. He is the true vine. He wants me to get dirty. He wants me to love His broken and hurting children. He wants me to experience Him in the reality of poverty.
I experienced Jesus walking through a pile of trash sweaty, dirty, tired, and sun-burned. I stood on holy ground with dirty feet. I stared down into a river of garbage and believed that this river would water fruit-bearing trees.
Nicaragua is a poor place. Everywhere I look I see despair and poverty. But with my dirty feet, I am taking back this land for Christ. With every step I am declaring it holy ground. The Lord is here and He is walking with me.
Meagan McCall & Timothy Weisemann are members of a media based project focused on documenting the travels of a group backpacking the globe.