In addition to the video chat about this blog with Katelyn Beaty yesterday (and for those of you who might be like me and prefer reading words to watching conversations), I thought I'd offer a few thoughts on what to expect from this blog going forward.
The title of this blog, "Thin Places," comes from a Celtic Christian concept. The Celts believed that physical locations existed in which God's presence was more accessible than elsewhere, places where heaven and earth seemed to touch, where the line between holy and human met for a moment. I tend to believe that thin places, places where the Spirit of God is at work in a way that we can sense, are not bound by physicality. Thin places happen every time, every place, where two human beings connect in a way that reflects our God-given humanity in all our brokenness and beauty. This space is meant to be an invitation to a thin place—to a place where some of the lines that so often divide us (liberal/conservative, religious/secular, evangelical/mainline, gay/straight, disabled/able-bodied, rich/poor, black/white) might become bridges, points of connection and understanding.
It was tempting to include an image on this post of locations that seem "thin"--a cathedral, perhaps, or a sunset or mountain vista. But as someone recently pointed out to me (and I think she was quoting Tim Keller): "There is more of God's glory per square inch in one Manhattan subway car at rush hour than in any solitary experience of nature." Thin places, places where heaven and earth touch, are places where humans come together in reciprocal relationships of love. This site is designed to consider what keeps us from those relationships and to celebrate the ways those relationships, especially the unlikely ones, happen. (I should note that getting three young children to hug and genuinely smile at one another--see above--belongs in the category of "unlikely" which is one reason I selected this photo to accompany this post!)
On a more practical level, on a weekly basis, visitors here can expect to read:
· One post related to faith and family. Past favorites include:
You'll be able to find these posts under "Small Talk" (Check back next week for some thoughts on the Olympics, Black History Month, and Race from the viewpoint of a child)
· One post containing cultural analysis about topics like prenatal testing, abortion, disability, education. I've written a few of these types of posts for her.menuetics recently, such as Cathy McMorris Rodgers and the Politics of Down syndrome and Peeking into the Womb.
You'll be able to find these posts under "Culture." (Check back next week for some thoughts on the recent law in Belgium offering euthanasia for children, regardless of age.)
· A Friday roundup of the books and articles I think are worth reading, especially ones that pertain to faith, family, and disability. These posts will be stored under "Roundup." (Today's roundup will appear this afternoon.)
Every so often, I will take a week away from blogging personally and instead turn my attention to a topic that seems worthy of civil debate from a variety of divergent opinions. In the past, I've looked at abortion, prenatal testing, and adoption, among other topics. I've been grateful even for the writers with whom I disagree because they have pushed me to consider the ways in which my opinions have been shaped by my cultural context and/or by the gospel. These types of posts will be stored under "Viewpoints."
I have some dreams for this space which include reflections on books, a weekly guest series called "Perfectly Human" with reflections on disability, and perhaps a few devotional-type posts. But there are only so many hours in the day, so we're starting with Small Talk, Culture, and Roundups.
If you are interested in reading more, my memoir A Good and Perfect Gift: Faith, Expectations, and a Little Girl Named Penny, is available at all major book retailers. It also happens to be available for FREE as an ebook on Monday, February 17th.
In conclusion, welcome to Thin Places. I look forward to learning and growing together.