God has us on a journey. One of adventure. Of learning. Of battles. Of love. Growth is this journey realized. So here is our story.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thin places

Yes, hello, I'm writing again it seems. Much to say of my inner turmoil about writing...for another post entirely. For whatever reason, synchroblogs are drawing my words public. This is where bloggers all write about the same topic simultaneously. (I just learned the term, too.) Well, my new favorite blogger Sarah Bessey prompted a synchroblog today on what is saving you now? Her original post on what is saving her impacted me deeply, and the music that she shared broke my heart's gate wide open. This post was my own response to what her words and music triggered in me, and it just so happens that it fits with her synchroblog today! Here is what is saving me...

There are stories, mystical tales, legends maybe, whispering around me of thin places. Places where heaven and earth touch, join even, on a thin plane of mystery. 

Today I treaded ever so lightly, unknowingly, into a thin place.

The music swept me up in an instant. Simple words of praise, majestic building chords, swelling to a crescendo of melody, calling me to lift my heart upwards, compelling me to cry…a song deep within my soul bursting through the flesh encasing me. I met heaven in the Student Union.

And I think this is not the first time I have stumbled upon a thin place.

There are the fleeting visions in my mind, that whisper to me of great things I will do. The visions that stir my heart, bringing to life every gift I’ve been given and every passion I’ve committed to. The visions show me ribbons of my dreams, gifts, and passions, swirled into an intricate tapestry of all the beautiful work there is to do. I meet heaven in my dreams of the future.

I wonder if thin places exist all around me, available to me in the simple, mundane, joyful, and even painful moments. And what about the drudgery? Can they be found even there, in the glaring white screen of a blank Word document, in the calendar full of deadlines, in the irritating commute through rush-hour traffic?

How about on the endless black line of a dirty swimming pool? Amidst the splashing, the habitual kicking, the robotic arms reaching, pulling, and pushing, there was a voice. Maybe not an actual voice to be heard with my waterlogged ears, but a flow of words. Flowing through my mind, to my heart, down into my soul, as the water flowed past my body. Do you know there are thin places? You may stand in the hallowed ground between heaven and earth. Look for them. They are there.

And just now it’s starting to dawn on me that perhaps the desert, my home for this space in time, is a thin space. I haven’t seen the thin space through the gnarled cacti, standing tall and lonesome, through the oppressive sun, beating down on endless summer days, through the wide open spaces, so desolate that it makes me want to run from this place. But I have a hunch that heaven is meeting me here, in the desert, in the place I have never wanted to call home.

Heaven meets me on my drive, at the end of a weary day, in the purple mountain majesties that I face.
Heaven meets me in the quiet weekend rhythm of dinners out, night swims, and hikes on the rocks with my little family of three.
Heaven meets me (can it be so?) in the drudgery, the toil, the disappointment, the insanely hard work of my graduate student life. Because in this chaos of my mind, raging like a monsoon in the harsh desert landscape, a beautiful thing is happening. I am seeing things, learning things, loving things, embracing things, and fighting for things like it’s all brand-new. Other-worldly, perhaps.

May my eyes open wide and my heart open deep so that my soul may stand in the thin places.


  1. Your words made me cry. I want to find the thin places, as you have said. Thanks for writing this out. (I found you through the syncroblog).

  2. That phrase - thin places - has been rattling around in my heart for a while now, too. Love it, it's so evocative. Your post is lovely but the photos of your little Soren on the sidebar there are just delightful. What a little man.