February 19, 2010

Thin Places

I am reading a new book today called, Thin Places, (An Evangelical Journey into Celtic Christianity), by Tracy Balzer. This book was recommended by Dr. Wray last year when I had audited his Spiritual Formation class. A thin place is a place where you feel close to God, a place where the distractions are at their least. A thin place to me is where I can feel God's presence and my focus is on Him. The book uses the term "thick place" for the places that are full of distractions that keep us away from focusing on God. The author so far has shared some "thin places" that were built by the Celts, in much earlier times. The places she writes about are places such as Ireland and Scotland. To "go" somewhere intentionally like the old monisteries or nunneries would be quite special, but we know that God is always with us, our Emmanuel. Where ever we are can be a thin place.

I love when I have met God during the thin places in my life. Sometimes these thin places are born out of convenience, I have set time aside, I have chosen silence as my companion along with the scriptures or a book that points me to them, or maybe it is through praise, to feel God in the presence of lifting my hands and my heart to Him while I am worshipping Him. But most of the thinnest places of my life were born of desperation, the morning I fell on my knee's and asked God to save me from my sin...the evening I tearfully poured over scripture looking for an increase of faith from Him to face Jack's diagnosis just 24 hours earlier. Those were precious times, when all is stripped away but my beckoning the Father to make me more like Him. He so graciously wrapped me in Him during those times. Those are the days that a million dollars seems like nothing compared to the hope that only the Father has for me. Those moments are precious to me.

Being with my family both immediate and extended is a thin place for me. To be with my grandfather who has lived close to 90 years talk about the faithfulness of God even while missing his precious wife and in agonizing pain himself is a thin place. My children, my husband, those are sacred thin places for me. In each of them I feel the love of Christ, they are a gift of grace that God has given me mercifully.

Church for me is a thin place. A place where I can worship God, but also look into the eyes of my church family and deposit God's love or many times be the receiver of God's love through them.

Those thin places help me stay focused on God in the thick places, they fill me with the love of God so that I can be emptied out like a drink offering on His behalf.

That is a thin place, to be in the service of the Glorified Christ.