Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sacred places...

“Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again.”
-Joseph Campbell

Image by Gerard DuBois published in Time magazine, August 30, 2010.

Every morning I read a couple articles from Time magazine, hoping to get through the whole issue before the next one arrives on Friday. This is my connection to the outside world. I don't read the paper, I rarely even have time to scan the headlines at

As with many magazines I always look forward to the last article, the one in the awkward spot, neighboring the back cover. It's often a witty piece with a slightly different perspective than the rest of the magazine. Last week's Time concluded with an essay from Nancy Gibbs (whose work I sometimes grimace through...a couple of weeks ago she wrote how her family dog had helped raise her girls...gag me...) explored the idea of sacred spaces. See it here.

The essay was written in response to the NYC mosque controversy, an issue which I've been somewhat following. I find the issue interesting because I can't decide on which side I stand. It does seem a little insensitive to the victims' families, and yet I wholeheartedly believe in religious freedom and am against persecution in all aspects.

But I think Nancy Gibbs' article is particularly interesting because it asks the question, does a place become less sacred when someone else of differing or opposing views also recognizes it as sacred?

The article also made me stop and think about what places I consider sacred. And, in true Listography fashion (Callie, I'm loving my birthday gift!), here's my list:

  • The sanctuary at my home church, Noel UMC in Shreveport
  • The altar at Epworth UMC in Atlanta
  • My bedroom in my childhood house
  • My father's grave
  • My grandparents' house
  • Bobby Dodd stadium at Georgia Tech
  • Basil Garden at the Georgia Tech Alumni House, where Rob and I were married
  • Little Mulberry Park
  • Rialto Beach, Washington
  • the top of Bell Rock in Sedona, AZ
  • Each of the houses I've helped repair on mission trips
  • the Statue of Liberty
  • Vietnam Memorial in D.C.


  1. Interesting thoughts---makes me think, too.

  2. i'm with you on the whole mosque thing and hope they all come to a good agreement for all of those involved... hope you had a nice one!

  3. I read that article this week, too! Your post makes me think about a lot:

    1. Mosque: I come down on the side of supporting the mosque project, but I think the whole issue just further illustrates our need for nuance in understanding and talking about Islam in the public sphere. I read an article recently -- can't remember where -- about some of the Muslim victims of 9/11, which really brought an interesting perspective to the controversy.

    2. Sacred Space - I love the concept!! I want to tell you about our experience with sacred space this summer, but it may be too long for a maybe someday I'll write another post. :)

    3. I'm glad you're enjoying your (much belated) birthday present. :) And, I like your list!


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