Friday, August 16, 2019

Thin Places

Photo credit: The 25th Hour Studios

There are certain places in this world that feel... other worldly to me.  Places where I feel God's presence more than others, places where I feel deeply connected to something greater than myself.  It turns out that the Irish have long ago named this phenomenon, calling these places thin places.  

Thin places are places where the distance between heaven and earth is shorter or thinner, places where heaven and earth almost seem to touch.  They are places where mere mortals catch glimpses of the divine.  

There is an ancient Celtic saying about thin places that states, "heaven and Earth are only three feet apart, but in thin places that distance is even shorter." 

That thought just makes me exhale.  Knowing that such places exist is just so very lovely-- places where the presence of God is more deeply experienced.  After I heard about thin places, suddenly I was very aware of them all around me.  I think bodies of water are thin places for me-- places where I feel God so very deeply moving in ways that I cannot always understand.  The ocean does this for me moreso than lakes-- I think because of the depth and vastness of oceans. It's like Ephesians 3 where Paul talks about his prayer "that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth..." That's how I feel about the ocean, one of my very favorite thin places.

Mama C's house is another thin place for me.  Standing under the oak trees I feel the presence of the divine washing over me in waves, reminding me that He created all of this and breathed it into existence.  We were there this past weekend for her funeral, and I think even more than on our wedding day there, I felt the peace of the Holy Spirit whispering to me in this thin place.  

All of this is not to say that you can't experience God elsewhere. I experience Him in church on Sundays and in my living room each morning when I read Scripture.  The Bible says "for where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them" (Matthew 18:20).  But I feel more connected to who He is when I am in His creation-- in thin places.  

I hope you have thin places where you feel the presence of the divine washing over you in deep ways--mystical places where the veil between the heavens and earth is very thin.  And I hope you find yourself traveling to those this places often.