Meditation Monday – Thin Places

by Christine Sine

Columba prayer & thin place.002.jpg.001

For Celtic Christians, God was a key part of all things natural and beautiful. They praised God’s design and creation of all things. All creation was seen as translucent with the glory of God shining through it. The hills, the sky, the sea, the forests were not God, but their spiritual qualities revealed God and were connected to God.

In some special places people felt a very strong connection to God’s presence. It was as though the veil that separates earth and heaven was lifted and inhabitants of both worlds can momentarily touch the other. These places are referred to as “thin places.”

When Tom and I visited Iona several years ago we were very aware of the special nature of this place. Columba’s beach, the Hill of the Angels, the Abbey cloister all have a wonder about them that makes one sense that heaven is but a breath away. The waves of the ocean seem to whisper Jesus’ words “I am with you always.” In this, as in any hallowed space and time, heaven and earth for a moment seem as one.

We return from thin places refreshed and renewed, aware that all of life contains thin places. Having seen the glimpses of glory in those sacred landscapes, we begin to see glimpses all around us. Soon the birds outside our window sing of the mystery we might have passed over in our busyness. The glowing sunset cracks open the door once more to the invisible realm, and as we sit in silence, we hear the divine rhythm of the ebb and flow of God’s love.

We cannot spend all our lives in these thin places but we can often return to them in our memory and in our imagination. When I am overcome with small tedious details and endless tasks, I hold my serpentine rock picked up on Columba’s beach, close my eyes and return to Iona. Sitting on Columba’s pebbled beach, I hear again the silent music of angel voices and the abiding presence of God’s love.

What is your response? 

Reflect on the thin places in your own life. Where is a place that refreshes your spirit and opens the door to the threshold of God’s loving presence? Sit and imagine yourself once more entering that place. Experience God’s blessing and the wonder of God’s peace as it flows over you. In what ways could you enable yourself to enter that thin place on a more regular basis?

Now listen to this song – reflect on the lyrics. These too speak of thin places in our lives. How do you feel God would have you respond?


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Jim Fisher August 10, 2015 - 10:41 pm

As Christians, our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. God tabernacles within us. So we have a thin place within us that straddles the human and the Divine. So what do we do with that? More thoughts here:

Christine Sine August 11, 2015 - 10:26 am

Beautiful thanks Jim

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