Some of my favorite moments are when I catch my housemates at home and we have a chance to talk. I had taken Friday morning off from work and was thrilled to find that I wasn’t home alone – Michelle was on the blue striped couch with a tall pile of thick books in front of her. As we caught up, my fellow Hollenbeck-House-resident-Christian-feminist mentioned one of the books she was reading was by a Westmont grad. As she had been reading about this woman’s life in which most of the time she is a stay-at-home mom, she was surprised when the author mentions out of the blue that she is an ordained minister. We both laughed; surprised at what seems ironic superficially.

Interested in this woman, I picked up the same book this evening and part of a chapter caught my eye.

“One of my favorite Celtic ideas is the concept of thin places. A thin place, according to the Celtic mystics, is a place where the boundary between the natural world and the supernatural one is more permeable – thinner, if you will.
Sometimes they’re physical places. There are places all over Ireland where people have said, if you stand here, if you face this direction, if you hike to the top of that ridge at just the right time of day, that’s a thin place, a place where the passage between heaven and earth is a short one, a place where God’s presence is almost palpable.
Thin places: places where the boundary between the divine world and the human world becomes almost nonexistent, and the two, divine and human, can for a moment, dance together uninterrupted. Some are physical places, and some aren’t places at all, but states of being or circumstances or seasons.”
Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way by Shauna Niequist

Something about the concept of thin places resonates with my soul. Thin places, to me, are incredibly elusive. Those split seconds in which I freeze and realize, “That’s how this was intended to be.” They are glimpses of shalom¹ in a broken world. Usually these moments take me by surprise, but I wonder what would happen if I lived looking for them, expecting them to be just around the corner.

 

—–

 

¹Shalom: “the way things were intended to be,” wholeness, completeness, peace, reconciliation, healing.

Advertisements