Thin Spaces

Thin spaces. That’s how I’ve heard it before. Time when the distance between us people and the divine Person seems remarkably close (or thin, as it were). Maybe even too close. Also referred to as mountaintop experiences or standing on holy ground.

Thin spaces…

I wish I could bottle them up in the form of some ingestible substance. You know, take a sip when the well’s running dry.

Bad day at work: one swig.

Cat misses the litter box: couple of gulps.

Friend or family sick in the hospital: as much as I can drink.

Tonight, I sit in thin space. A Carols by Candlelight service with our church’s music program. Singing “Hark the Herald” as we face the choir. I just want to take what I’m feeling and… I don’t know… share it. Maybe that’s why I’m writing it down, so I can remember… and so you can know.

I know Christmas isn’t always the best of seasons. It’s a time invoking themes of family, loyalty, community, love, and compassion… which makes it nearly impossible to navigate for those feeling lonely, marginalized, hated, mournful, or lost. Memories of what once was can make ‘what is’ hard to swallow. Candles don’t symbolize light for some, but rather serve as a reminder of the darkness surrounding.

Yet, I’m also taken by the fact that this time of year confronts us with the sacred. That, no matter how cut it, you can’t spell Christmas without c-h-r-i-s-t. That the ‘holy’ invades the ‘secular’ with “Silent Night” and “Away in a Manger.” And that people must negotiate whether or not they believe in the reason for the season.

Christ, for once, makes the headlines. Wonder sets the stage. Curiosity leads to singing. And, perhaps, we visit a thin space… or maybe it visits us.

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~ by presbytide on December 14, 2009.

One Response to “Thin Spaces”

  1. This past Sunday, as I sat crying tears of happiness when our choir sang,”Goin’ to Bethlehem, see that baby,” my tears evolved to tears of sadness as I began to miss my friend Drew, then more tears as I heard a young widower read a poem about the lonliness that Christmas can bring. He then talked about how we have to celebrate–that we really have no choice because Christ brings peace in the midst of chaos. Evidently you and I, and I’m sure so many others, have been feeling the same way over the past few days–that the thin spaces can be incredible and hard all at the same time. This is what I’m preaching about the Sunday after Christmas. Amen to your post, friend :)!

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