I often play music in my office while working; preferably mellow songs with non distracting lyrics help me focus on my work. I tried a new playlist last week. It was a good choice until the lyrics of a song stood out to me, came to the surface, got ahold of me. And so the line (and title of the song) got stuck in my head- “No one knows me like the piano in my mother’s home”.
I am a firm believer in the sacredness of spaces- moments and places that hold powerful memories or meaningful experiences; a moment of connection to the Divine, to the Divine in others, or within yourself. There is profound beauty in the simple, mundane, often overlooked sacred spaces that hold us, hold a piece of our soul. I think that’s why that song jumped out at me; Sampha, the artist, named and shared a sacred space, a piano. This piano was a part of his childhood, and later where he wrote music while he was home caring for his sick mother. Listeners get a glimpse of the memories it holds in his song.
Maybe it’s what I needed, to be shaken, to be reminded to pay attention even during a seemingly uneventful and mundane day, week, or month. There are sacred spaces that we can come back to when we are searching for something, and we often do without noticing it. Spaces that know a part of our soul. Moments that free us up to find a piece of true selves.
In a hot cup of chai. In the pavement that knows the rhythm of your tennis shoes running. In the perfect reading chair, familiar to your form. On a dance floor, free from caring who’s watching. In a quite car during a morning commute, or a car full of chatter on the way home from school. On the second branch of the perfect climbing tree. In a paintbrush. In a game. In this church- in weekly conversations with friends in the lobby, in the choir room, in a pew that has known your company for years.
I think Jesus recognized sacred spaces too- time with a child, at a well, on a mountainside, around a table with friends, in a garden alone. And in this weeks text, at a wedding, a party too good to end early. Maybe the band was especially good, playing everyone’s favorite songs. Maybe the dance floor was packed with people letting loose and just enjoying the moment. Maybe the conversations around tables were joyful, life-giving. Maybe this celebration was so much fun, so sacred, no one wanted it to end. They needed more wine.
Notice the sacred spaces that hold a piece of your soul, that know a little bit about who you are. Revisit them- physically or reflectively. Thank God for spaces that hold our true joys and sorrows, because it is there that God holds them too. Thank God for spaces that know who we truly are, because it is there that God reminds us who God created us to be.