Where do we encounter the divine? Have we created a false dichotomy, partitioning God off into a corner, away from our daily lives? Do we try to contain God in a building or to a day of the week in order to keep God private and separated from our lives? In An Altar in the World, Barbara Brown Taylor reminds us that just because we categorize things into the sacred and secular, God doesn’t. God created the world good and thereby we can encounter the divine anywhere, especially in the ordinary. “Earth is so thick with divine possibility that it is a wonder we can walk anywhere without cracking our shins on altars,” she proclaims (15). This book is sprinkled with examples of how we might wake up to the divine. Taylor looks as things we do every day: waking up, walking around, getting lost, encountering others, going to work, saying yes and no, experiencing pain, and finally to being present to God in prayer.
Barbara Brown Taylor is an Episcopal priest. For twenty years she served in the parish and for the past decade has taught at
“Do we build God a house so that we can choose when to go see God? Do we build God a house in lieu of having God stay at ours?” (9)