As the name of this blog suggests, I'm interested in "Thin Places." I'm interested in the physical spaces that feel holy, be that a mountaintop, or a cathedral, or an ancient monument. I'm even more interested in the relationships and times in life when we find ourselves in a thin place. When my mother-in-law died, her living room became a thin place, a place where heaven and earth kissed, if just for a moment. A woman told me earlier this week that she kept vigil with her mother before she died. "I heard angels' wings all night long." She had spent the night in a thin place.
Death can take us to a thin place. Suffering can do the same. And there are certain people I know who seem to spend their days in a space between this world and another reality, whose common language is the same as prayer, who talk to Jesus as if he is really right here, right now, with us.
This morning I read Jesus' words to his disciples in Matthew 18, "Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." I am starting to believe that children live in thin places too. At least Penny does.
We pray sporadically together, Penny and I. Sometimes she uses it as a stalling tactic before going to bed. It often involves prayer for her immediate family, Mama, Dada, Penny, and William. But earlier this week, she said, "Pray. Maya. Quinn." She has never asked to pray for Maya and Quinn before. We hadn't seen them recently or even talked about them. But her request was exactly right. On the night Penny asked to pray for them, Maya and Quinn's dad was driving home from Ohio, where he had said goodbye to his brother, age 39, who is dying of cancer. Then yesterday, Penny asked to pray for Geeka, her great-grandfather. We haven't talked about him in months. It seemed random to me, until I received an email from my mother this morning. "Geeka has shingles in his nose and throat and is in a lot of pain."
May I become like a little child, and live in a place that is closer to God, day by day.