One of the things Bishop of Durham, Dr Tom Wright said in an address to the emerging church was that we should consider the importance of 'place'. That some places held more significance and were more spiritual than others. The Celtic church used to talk about thin places - that is places where the separation between earth and heaven is thin.I really like this idea. It reminds me of warm, dark wood carved from a tree grown from a Narnian apple seed.
As David thinks about some of these “thin places” he’s experienced, I began to wonder if there might be different types of these spaces. There’s the corporate thin spots, places of history and story and movement (like a church David mentions). Then there’s the thin spaces where God’s handiwork is evident, like nature.
But could thin places also include pieces of art, like a novel or painting or structure? Or what about moments and groups of moments? Sometimes, my walk with Jesus feels like walking from spotlight to spotlight, moments of clarity and “thinness” with darkness in between. Not that that is how it is in reality—in reality it is always bright, wide, open and green in the Kingdom, but my ability to see or comprehend my surroundings is sometimes limited. There are times when it seems as if I look back and see a thin place as an at-once group of moments collected together—like the process of reading through a book or a collection of encounters with people or a group of revelations God’s graced upon me.
What do you think? What are the thin spaces you’ve encountered?
(Image: from Gustave Doré's illustrations to the Divine Comedy via Wikipedia)