On Sacred Spaces…

A Church, A Bar and A Car

Up until I was 16, essentially every space I found myself in was religious in one way or another. A church. A Bible study. A private Christian school. I wasn’t really allowed to venture outside the Protestant sphere.  Religious meant “sacred”. The problem was: those spaces never felt safe. In fact, they were the opposite. They were unsafe. Dangerous, even. 

In University, I used to go to the Irish Embassy Pub (RIP) almost every Sunday night. I would even go during the day to get school work done. I felt much more safe at the Irish Embassy than I ever did in a church. My friends playing music all night long. Divorcees dancing away their awful marriages. Couples breaking up and making up. Students cramming for exams. Employees celebrating promotions or mourning layoffs. Drunk girls becoming best friends in the restroom over shared hair elastics. This was truly the Kingdom of God. When I got my first car, it was the first real form of independence I had ever had. I could be alone with my thoughts without someone asking me what I was thinking of? Why was I thinking of it? Why WASN’T I thinking of Jesus or finding a husband instead?! That car also became a sacred space for all who entered. We shared secrets in that car. We laughed in that car. We cried in that car. We listened to the Walk to Remember soundtrack on CD in that car. Then someone ran a red and totalled that car. 

New Beginnings

Nature is sacred in and of itself. The planet is sacred. But more often than not, we – the people – rob nature and the planet of its sacredness by being… what’s the word? Assholes. We make people feel like they don’t belong. We limit access and make them hate themselves for never finding the places we excluded them from.

In 2022, I found a new sacred space: Comedy Clubs.  In a comedy club, I feel myself. I feel God as my sweaty palms grip the microphone. I smell Him in the greasy foods. I taste Him in the drinks shared with the comedians and the crowd. I see Him in every person’s smile and most importantly: I hear Him in every laugh. I am incredibly thankful for finding my way to comedy in 2022. I am more grateful for all of the people I met who opened doors for me (shoutout to Rachid, Raajiee, Isabelle, Sid, Ben and Pantelis); for those who invited me on shows and allowed me into their sacred spaces (shoutout to the Michelles and to the Sarahs, Eva, Tom, Charles, Diane, Mariam, Elspeth, Josh, Kris, Jimmy and Amer); and for those who went out of their way to show me kindness when they could have done literally anything else (shoutout to Lawrence, Andrew, John, Wassim, Akeem, Eddy King, Renzel, Marianne, Mason, Oren, Victor, Jeremy and Paul)

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

Cole Arthur Riley said “I think it is one of the deepest evils to become a thief of place, to make someone a stranger to their home”

Randy Newman said “I love LA”.


Space is important. Cole Arthur Riley ALSO said “Isn’t it something that in Genesis, God makes a home for the things before God makes the thing? Not the fish, but the sea. Not the birds, but the sky. Not the humans, but the garden” . So here are my hopes for you in 2023:

I hope you do not become a thief of place. Do not be rude to someone in their home or hometown. Be more empathic to the people in your church, in your car, in your bar or in your comedy club.

I hope you create more sacred spaces. Would an autistic person feel safe and sacred in your space? A queer person? A disabled person? A person of colour? If you build it, they will come.

Finally – my last piece of advice that no one asked for in 2022: be like the folks I have found in the comedy scene. Open doors. Invite people in. Show kindness.

If you were robbed of a sacred space this year, I’m so sorry. I know that feeling all too well. I hope that you find a new sacred space. Preferably more than one. I pray that in 2023, you find spaces where you find God and you find yourself again and again and again and again…

Happy new year, friends 🙂

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