Braver/Wiser: A Weekly Message of Courage and Compassion

The Unexpected Sacredness of Things

By Tania Márquez

"Nothing here below is profane. On the contrary, everything is sacred."
—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

It was one of those times in life when the wheel of life turned and I found myself in unknown terrain. I had made a difficult decision that was still painful despite the fact that it was my choice. After leaving a place that had meant a lot to me, I found myself immersed in the fogginess that sometimes comes with the in-between spaces.

A week into this liminal space, I received an invitation to participate in a small business market in my city. It was a space offered through a Mexican/Chicanx organization, and the day of the event was only a week away. I spent the entire week getting ready for this event: making candles, preparing loose incense, putting together self-care ritual kits. This mindful work created a silence within me that, unexpectedly, allowed me to process a lot of what I was feeling. I felt saved by this holy work of giving all of my attention to the things that were in front of me.

A hand holding a censer, in which burning copal incense releases smoke.

The event was like no other I had been to. I felt welcome and in community as soon as I arrived. I met my neighbor sellers, rejoiced in the music the DJ was playing, and felt a great sense of pride for being part of the event. Then, right before the market was officially open, we, all the vendors, were invited to join a circle to bless the day and open the market. This ritual and sense of reverence was so unexpected. We called the five directions (north, south, west, east, center), we received a blessing with copal incense, and felt a deeper sense of connection and community with the strangers that were now becoming familiar.

Now, every month I sign up to go and feel grateful every time I’m invited to be part of it. My teenage daughters also found a place here for them, either helping me or volunteering to help with the event.

Audio of "The Unexpected Sacredness of Things"

Listen to Rev. Tania read her reflection.

For a long time, I have believed that the sacred can be found everywhere, yet every time I find it unexpectedly, I am filled with awe and surprise. And every time something like this happens, it makes me wonder what sacredness in life I have overlooked thinking the space was too ordinary, too familiar to be holy.

Prayer

Divine Creator, May our hearts be always open to see the holy everywhere we are. And may we be filled with joy and awe when we find sacredness in unexpected moments and places.

About the Author

Tania Márquez

Rev. Tania Yadira Márquez (she/ella) is an ordained UU minister, Spiritual Director, and Chaplain Resident. Her ministry is influenced by her immigrant and fronteriza experiences. Tania strongly believes in the healing power of words, community, and ritual.

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