In the Celtic tradition, there is a notion called “thin places.” Thin places are the places and moments where the curtain between heaven and earth seems almost transparent.
Though I can’t prove it, I suspect my father-in-law was in one of those places days before he died. There were moments when he claimed to see and spoke to relatives in the room who had long since died. Perhaps those were just dying hallucinations…dissociative episodes. Or perhaps they were “associative episodes” in his passage from this life to the next.
But thin places are not reserved for the dying. We experience them quite often on mission trips when, for brief but poignant periods of time, we are overwhelmed by the divine inner beauty of the little ragamuffin child sitting next to us. And there it is again when, sitting in worship, we see our kids in a promotional video and we choke back the tears and remember.
Thin places – where the curtain between heaven and earth seems almost transparent. Why else would someone “give up” vacation days so willingly if not to peek through that curtain once again? Why else would someone sacrifice her hard-earned pay to go to some of the saddest places on earth? The reason lies in what we see; what we experience; what we feel within ourselves and about ourselves when we step through that veil and onto “middle ground,” where Jesus lives…and waits…and blesses!
In the coming months you have more opportunities than ever before to step into “thin air.” On December 4-11, you can join a JMI group working on behalf of orphans in Haiti. On December 29-January 6, you can be a part of a team celebrating Christmas with orphans in Moldova. And on February 22-March 6 you can give yourselves to the desperately needy in South Africa.
You are needed! The Kingdom of God is emerging all around us. Be a part of it!