Advent Reflections 2018 : Day 15 : Thin Places

I’m drawn to places that beguile and inspire, sedate and stir, places where, for a few blissful moments I loosen my death grip on life, and can breathe again. It turns out these destinations have a name: thin places. They are locales where the distance between heaven and earth collapses and we’re able to catch glimpses of the divine, or the transcendent.

It reminds me of Dr Strange with his ability to open doors to other places and realities but I wonder if his experience is more disorienting than spirituality enlightening? Either way, Dr Strange is jolted out of his old ways of seeing the world, and therein lies the transformative magic of thin places.

A thin place is not necessarily a tranquil place, or a fun one, or even a beautiful one, though it may be all of those things too. Thin places relax us, yes, but they also transform us — or, more accurately, unmask us. In thin places, we become our more essential selves.

Getting to a thin place usually requires a bit of sweat. One does not typically hop a taxi to a thin place. Many thin places are wild, untamed, but cities can also be surprisingly thin. The divine supposedly transcends time and space, yet we seek it in very specific places and at very specific times. Advent is one of those times and maybe thin places offer glimpses not of heaven but of earth as it really is, unencumbered. Unmasked.

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