In God in the Moment, Kathy Coffey wrote about the sacredness of "being prayers" a skier gliding down a slope, a cook in the kitchen, a husband holding the hand of his wife, a mother nursing a child, a social worker comforting a lonely person. In Dancing in the Margins, she used meditations to convey the idea that people on the periphery of things can be open to the Godward marvels of grace and justice. Now in this inspiring paperback, she salutes the "small s" sacraments outside the church that happen in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. She confirms what Andrew Greeley has been pointing out for years that God can be found lurking in hiding places everywhere. Kathy Coffey tutors us in the art of feeling the presence of the Holy One in the most mundane situations.
She begins with a place that she finds both peaceful and holy a gazebo. "Usually driven by the clock, I lose all sense of time here. If we believe, as we say we do, that Christ is alive for us, longing to be with us, wanting to make us into his home, then we must offer him these wide empty times and spaces to do so. . . . As late afternoon breezes drift through the gazebo and the sky fills with the first gauzy pink hints of sunset, I know God is here. More important, I know that God is in other places too; as J.D. Salinger said, 'All we do our whole lives is go from one little piece of Holy Ground to the next.' "
After the gazebo, Coffey visits other places that are sanctuaries in her life: mountains, the Botanic Gardens, New Mexico, a fishing hole, and the Ramada Inn. The last one proves that even so-called crummy places can offer us just what we need in terms of spiritual learning and transformation.
Other sections of the book focus on people as the many faces of Christ and activities as hidden holiness (cooking, exercising, flying, moviegoing). The final section covers objects as sacramentals. Exploring Celtic spirituality in relation to modern conveniences, she observes: "For us, booting up might correspond to the Celtic woman kindling the embers of the fire or stirring the oatmeal to start the day. Pausing to reflect on the computer's potential, being grateful for its powers, using its capabilities to serve others can these actions not be filled with grace?" We agree! We must always be on the lookout for new ways in which our days are being inundated with meaning and glory.