Approaching the Holy


Our first task in approaching

Another people

Another culture

Another religion

Is to take off our shoes

For the place we are approaching is holy

Else we find ourselves

Treading on another’s dreams

More serious still, we may forget that God was there before our arrival.

We have to try to sit where they sit, to enter sympathetically into the pains and grieves and joys of their history and see how those pains and griefs and joys have determined the premises of their argument. We have, in a word, to be ‘present’ with them.”

Quote attributed to Max Warren in 1963 


I just discovered this quote, written when I was only three years old. It is an amazing quote and a picture of the cultural humility that is critical in working across cultures, particularly when we are working in faith-based settings. In our fractured world, this feels more critical than ever.

Today, I want to sit with this quote and be reminded that this should be my posture every single day as long as I have breath. 

2 thoughts on “Approaching the Holy

  1. Beautiful. May I live out this beauty, laying aside the pride that comes quickly and naturally. Humility, sadly does not come this easily. Blessings.


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