Thin Places

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“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.”

I love this idea.  The idea that there are spaces, places, and seasons of life where the presence of God is almost palpable.  Moments when your soul is so in tune with the spirit that heaven feels only a breath away.  I first read about this last week in “The Lipstick Gospel” devotional (which maybe I’ll write about in a future post, stay tuned).  The author mentioned reading about this Celtic idea and the concept of thin places, in a book she had read.  It just so happened that I had that book sitting on my shelf, waiting to be read.  So out of curiosity, I pulled it out, dusted it off and started to read.  About halfway through, I came across the chapter titled Thin Places.  I love this concept, and thought it was worth sharing with you, so naturally, here we are!

Sometimes thin places actually are physical places.  Maybe it’s the top of a mountaintop, standing at the shore overlooking the vast openness of the ocean, or maybe captured in the beauty of a sunrise or sunset—a certain place where the passage between heaven and earth is short and you can feel the presence of God there, so close you feel like you could reach Him.  Some thin places are physical places, but I love how the author explains the fact that they can also be seasons, states of being, or circumstances.

This got me to thinking about the thin places I’ve encountered in my life, moments when I’ve felt the presence of God in a moment, a season, or specific location.  The first circumstance that comes to my mind is moments of worship.  I can think of a couple different instances during worship experiences when singing a specific song leads me to feeling indescribably close to God.  Standing with eyes closed, and arms out, singing words of praise and trying to force down the lump swelling in my throat–often for no specific reason other than the fact that I just feel so connected to the Lord it’s overwhelming and emotional.  A feeling I don’t think you can really describe.

I also think that seasons of brokenness, whatever that looks like for you, can be seasons full of thin places.  Brokenness has a way of forcing us to look deeper, harder and more longingly than seasons of joy, ultimately allowing God into our lives in a special way.  Amongst the heartbreak and tears, I’ve found there are so many thin places and moments.

“Heartbreak brings us lots of places—to despair, to bitterness, to emptiness, to numbness, to isolation.  But because God is just that good, if we allow the people who love us to walk with us through the brokenness, it can also lead to a deep sense of God’s presence.”

Your thin places may not always be the same, and I think they change as the seasons of our lives change.  We’re led to new places and on new adventures, and I believe there are thin places hidden and tucked into each season.  Not shrines where we go to find God, but rather gifts that God has stowed away for us to be discovered along the way—opportunities to be reminded of the constant closeness of our Savior.  Subtle reminders that he is everywhere and in every season right beside us—I love that.

Where are your thin places? Where have you felt the presence of God so close you could almost touch it? What seasons have you walked through where God has felt especially near? Think about it for a few minutes.  If you’re willing to share, I’d love to hear (leave a comment below)!  If you don’t have a thin place, perhaps it’s time to find one! I’m challenging myself to find new thin places in the next few months of my life and I encourage you to as well.  I think it’s super easy to walk blindly through life without paying much attention to special moments God places in our everyday, ordinary lives.  Keep your eyes peeled for those hidden moments and thin places where you can find God.

Have a blessed week

-Natalie

 

PS–The book is “Bittersweet” by Shauna Niequist and I highly recommend it!

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. –Matthew 7:7

 

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