Thin Places

She Said…

A broad definition of a thin place is a place where people feel closer to God.  There seems to be a wide-ranging debate (partly occurring in our study this morning) as to whether as place is “thin” because the nature of God is different there, because the nature of the place is somehow  more spiritual or mystical than the rest of the world, or because for each of us individually there are places where we can listen better.  For my purposes here I’m going with the third option.  For me, my garden is a place where, while on my knees in the dirt, I can feel the presence of the divine.  When I am gone from here, that garden may or may not be a thin place for somebody else.  The nature of God will not have changed, the place will be the same.  Only the listener will be different.

The entrance to our garden.  Good stuff grows here!
The entrance to our garden. Good stuff grows here!

I think that there are thin places between us and the world as well.  We profess to believe as Christians that we are to be the hands and feet of Christ in the world. And yet many of us go to church once a week and can’t understand why the world does not come to us.  Or if it does, why it is not comfortably like us.

Our church has a thin place.  We have a food pantry and community assistance program where we help members of our community at large with short term needs.  That is one place where our church mingles with the secular world.

I think that maybe the RV may be a thin place between us and the world.  I know that our house is a safe place where I spend a lot of time not interacting with anyone but Shannon.  I know that traveling around in an RV it will be possible to find secluded places where we can be alone, but more likely, we will be interacting with the world a great deal more; people who work at gas stations and convenience stores, campground owners and managers, neighbors every day who share a common interest with us.  Also, because of our mobility, it will be much easier for us to go to places where we might be of service.

I have no doubts that for the last 12 years I have been exactly where God wants me to be doing exactly what God wants me to do, although sometimes accompanied by a chorus of whining.  But a change is coming, and maybe it will be easier for God to work in the world through us if we are actually out in the world.

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