A number of months ago, a seminarian here at CSMSG preached about “thin spots,” moments and events when the distance or space between us and God or us and heaven seems to be inconsequential–the space seems “thin.”
I think of the way that light peeks through well-worn fabric; the way that the “fabric” of our lives can get to be gauze-like in places, and that wearing away reveals the light–the glory, the God-ness–behind/underneath it. The more I focus on these spots, the more I see them. I don’t think they’re increasing in frequency by any means–I’m not becoming holier by the minute, let’s be real!–but I do think that in training myself to see them, I’m getting better at seeing more of them.
Another contributing factor: really, truly working to see trials as opportunities to grow. I’m borrowing another blogger’s great, great wisdom here. When we help to create thin spots*, we’re more attuned to God’s work in our own lives, and we’re more willing to receive/notice the gift of those moments that remind us of God’s presence and of the joy of life itself.
*choosing to think of trials as opportunities to grow–loving others well with no attention or regard for their behavior toward us. This is helping others, especially in physical ways–bringing dinner to a person’s home, inviting someone to coffee, visiting with someone in the check out/coffeeshop/DMV line; this is going ahead and being honest (lovingly!) with others, especially in positive ways–sending that note to the acquaintance who just gave birth and you want to congratulate, telling your spouse out loud that you’re so grateful for him/her, calling that dear old friend you haven’t spoken with in a year (not letting the shame of how long it’s been/how strange you think it might sound/how stalkerish it might seem get in the way of expressing gratitude!); this is washing your mind out when storm clouds gather and when the person in line/in the car in front of you/in the upstairs apartment happens to be very, very rude. I have to constantly remind myself that there’s surely something that is bothering her/him, and it’s not really about me, but about trying to work through the anger and hurt, and I happen to be caught in the crossfire (this is one of my biggest challenges).
In my own life, paying more attention to thin spots recently, I’ve found they most often happen when I’m with other people–not alone–and when I’m praying. Now, I must have the courage to be with people and to pray all the more!