What makes a space sacred? As I sat on my friends couch the other day I asked myself this question. I found myself surrounded by friends and filled with a sense of joy in a seemingly normal, everyday space. So, what was it that made me feel that this, particular space, sitting on my friends couch, was sacred? I looked around and noticed that it wasn’t the fact that there was a Cardinals vs. Giants game on TV (neither of those teams really tickle my fancy); it wasn’t the fact that this round of Settlers of Catan was getting particularly exciting; and it wasn’t the fact that I was out doing something on a Thursday night when I’m usually at home painting my nails and watching a movie. No, it was something else. Something greater.
What I felt, sitting there on that brown suede couch in my good friend’s new living space, was the Holy Spirit. I felt God. There was laughter, there was love, and I felt myself wholly embraced by this feeling of complete and utter at-home-ness. It was a reminder, God reaching out to say “I am here, I am in this.”
Since that moment, I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled or rather my soul, for those moments when I feel a space turn from mundane to sacred. I feel moments become holy simply because I acknowledge God’s presence in them. As Julian of Norwich said, “The fullness of joy is to behold God in everything.” And that truly is the challenge isn’t it? To behold God in all things. To see each space, whether mental, physical, emotional, or spiritual, as sacred.
It isn’t easy to find God in moments that frustrate or infuriate or even in things that are joy-filled, but to look at each moment as infused with the Holy Spirit is to live with gratitude for God’s abiding love. Sitting at a table and breaking bread with a friend, the beauty of a candle-lit church, the difficult moment when a loved one names the feelings of pain or stress that has been weighing on them. All of these, and so many more, are sacred moments; sacred spaces.
As I look around at the many spaces I so frequently look at as normal, regular, mundane, I can now try to see them with new eyes and a transformed heart. “Open the eyes of my heart Lord, Open the eyes of my heart. I want to see you. I want to see you.”