By Rev. Dr. Brian Gigee
Everyone has at least one sacred place to go. It may change over time, but we all have one… From the time we are little to our ending years each of us has a place to get away from it all, to re-charge our batteries, to dream a new dream… and try again to just be our self! It falls under the category of “holy” … the Bible word we use for ‘set apart’… And of all the places I’ve been and all the places I can go… I have some sacred space… the place where I get to remember who I am and whose I am. This is one of my favorites…
In the Fall of 1979, I bought a rocking chair at Marek’s Furniture Store in Columbus, TX. It was at the beginning of my year of internship at the Lutheran Church… and at the time it was the only piece of furniture I owned. The chair’s now on a second round of cushions and has long-lasting dimples on the bottom of the rockers from cracking pecans. (Note: I didn’t own a nutcracker at the time!) It has taken up a corner of the room in my home or apartment from Columbus, Texas to Columbus, Ohio… back to Texas, crossing state lines again for almost a decade in New Orleans and has returned to Texas pushing a quarter of a century of residence here in Pearland…
Sacred space comes to us in lots of ways. I know a guy who likes to fish. He has a favorite spot a few miles out from the San Luis overpass at Galveston Island. He goes there early in the mornings to watch the sun rise. Surrounded by water, he doesn’t feel all so important while he’s there. It’s a humbling place and filled with the awe of God. It’s especially peaceful on those mornings when Galveston Bay is like a sheet of glass. Sometimes he even catches a fish!
I know a woman who has created some sacred space in her home. The smallest bedroom of a now empty-nester house has been converted into a prayer room. There is an altar, some candles, a cozy chair and a couple of throw pillows when her relaxing before God requires a lower posture. She was once a very active and busy professional women which included all the duties of a wife and mother. I’ve not seen her so at peace with herself in years. Faith matters and our intentionality has its impact!
Jesus knew where to go and had some sacred places of his own. A boat. A garden. A hillside. The Temple. Lazarus’ house. (Note: Lazarus was not one of Jesus chosen disciples; but I think, rather, Jesus’ best friend as he cried at the news of Lazarus’s death!) Even the “holy” son of God needed to renew his juices and was able to be his holy human self in the home of a friend.
Sacred space calls us from the hectic to the tranquil. We’re pulled inward from the outward hustle and bustle of our human plans seeking the holy within us. God’s peace and a confident faith are found as we let go… being drawn closer to the presence of God. What does your sacred space look like? Where do you go when you need to be in the presence of the holy?
My rocking chair and I are 40 years older now. It creaks of age, as do I, and has a couple of new screws and occupies still a place of sacred space in my home. It’s where I have practiced the presence of God… whether it be reading a book, talking to my parents, listening to the stories of other’s lives… singing my children to sleep or just sipping a coffee and thinking of what is yet to come… and come January 2020 Olivia, my granddaughter will get her chance to share in my sacred space as well… another matter of faith because faith matters… Brian
Brian Gigee is a long-time resident of Pearland and the lead pastor at New Life Lutheran Church at 3521 E. Orange St. in Olde Pearland. You can follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Friend2theRabbi. Comments and questions can be sent to [email protected].