What is sacred about all of our lives, even those of us who would never dream of using such a word for it, is that God speaks to us through what happens to us — even through such unpromising events as walking up the road to get the mail out of the mailbox, maybe, or seeing something in the news that brings you up short, or laughing yourself silly with a friend. If skeptics ask to be shown an instance of God speaking to them in their lives, I suggest that they pay closer attention to the next time when, for unaccountable reasons, they find tears in their eyes.
If I were to spit upon the revered black stone in Mecca during the height of the annual pilgrimage, I would be slain on the spot by enraged pilgrims for daring to profane the sacred symbol of Islam. An Israeli soldier's bullet in the back would be my deserved fate for scrawling graffiti upon the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. . . . Life would not be pleasant for me if I took a hammer to the Pietàs in the Vatican, for we humans hold our creations dear, and we deal harshly with those who fail to share our reverence for old stone walls, meteorites, marble statues, icons, and architecture. . . . Yet each and every day, humans enter the most sacred and reverential cathedrals of the natural world — the redwood forests of northern California or the rain forests of Amazonia — and each and every day we profanely rape these great mysteries with chain saws and bulldozers.