Thin Places

beach

William Barry, SJ, in his book, A Friendship Like No Other, invites us to be aware of our “thin places,” those moments where we easily find God. Barry’s challenge to name for ourselves our “thin places” was a challenge I took to heart, and I have come to two conclusions.

First, there are “thin places” that occur in my life that are unique, special places that I do not get to visit very often, but when I do the felt presence of God is almost overwhelming. Many of mine are places in nature, such as the beach, my grandparents’ farm, and being in the North Georgia Mountains, and they invite me to understand the vastness and creative power of our creator. As I stand and soak in the beauty of nature these places offer, I also find that I understand that my mere presence in life is but one piece of God’s magnificent, ongoing creative work.

Second, as Barry’s question of “thin places” remained on my heart, I found myself pondering it often during my Examen. Over time, I began to realize that there are some very basic rhythms and routines of my life that allowed me to readily and easily find God: snuggling my daughter, Abby, while sipping my morning coffee; sitting down to lunch with my kids after preschool to hear about their day; reading to my kids and our night time ritual of prayer; and savoring the few quieter moments with my hubby after the last door of my kids’ room was closed. I was surprised to find that the rhythms of my life are spotted with moments that easily allow me to find God. Without realizing it, these moments are checkpoints to see how the ones I love are doing and even more importantly “still points” that allow me to savor the gifts in my life and to deepen my awareness of God in all things.

I am sure as I continue to ponder my “thin places,” I will be surprised, yet again, as to where God routinely pops up in my day.

About Becky Eldredge 111 Articles
Becky Eldredge is a writer and spiritual director in Baton Rouge, LA. The author of Busy Lives & Restless Souls, Becky holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Education from Louisiana State University and a Masters in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University New Orleans. She has her Certificate in Spiritual Direction from Spring Hill College. Becky has been involved in ministry for more than 15 years, with the majority of her work in retreat ministry and adult faith formation. While ministry is one of her passions, her greatest joy is sharing life with her husband, Chris, and her children, Brady, Abby, and Mary.

18 Comments on Thin Places

  1. My thin place is my work place in my a little treatment room. I see God’s presence and miracles all the time. Also, park my van under a sunlight in a park nearby the school praying, journaling, reading, and meditating as I wait for my son and daughter to come out from their shcools is my thin place and thin time. I am grateful to find my thin place.

  2. Hi, Becky! Good to be reading/”hearing” your thoughts as part of my Lenten prayers…hope all is well with you and yours…Blessings to you!

  3. “Thin places” is a good term for those special places we feel God’s presence. I’ve got a few myself. But I’m also going to try to flip this around – and think about the “thick places”. Just as “thin places” are where God’s presence is shown a “thick place” is where I block it out. Where in my life are my thoughts, habits, and behaviors putting up a wall between me and God’s will?

  4. I think you are so right about ‘Thin Places’ Thin Times’ and ‘Thin People’. I recognise all of these in my life and am so grateful to God who notices me and blesses me with these gifts. The Spiritual Exercises have become a precious ‘Thin’ place where Jesus has come close and drawn me closer to Him.

  5. I discovered ‘Thin places’ (ie physical locations)a number of years ago. Last year I realised those times I regularly sat down with a cappucchino and my journal and catch up with myself, often to do my Ignatian exercises too, were what I now think of as ‘Thin times’.
    This year I have realised there are ‘Thin people’, people whom I sense are close enough to God for me to be more aware of Him than usual, or because of the sense of spaciousness about them that leaves room for God to be more present to me as well. One is my Spiritual Director, so maybe you are a ‘Thin person’ too, Becky?

  6. Oh! I understand what you are saying John! Whenever I am helping another of God’s creatures,whether it’s saving worms when I wal,feeding the birds, or grooming my pets, I just remember that God made us all and we all have a soul (see Job12:7-10)

  7. When I pick up my dog with diabetes to give him his insulin dose and eyedrops. The tenderness is overwhelming and gratifying. It’s sharing in how God takes care of us!

  8. I have always appreciated the overwhelming awe of nature. I think it was part of my DNA structure. You see, I am of an age where children played outside-if you were home and it was not raining you were outside. At the end of our street was a woods with a few wildflowers and small creek. That was my home. I belonged there. I felt safe. Of course, I didn’t know it then but God was already so active in my daily life. Fastforward to now and I am drawn to all things alive. A spirituality learned from my dad who taught me that the greatest cathedral is often in your backyard. All is divine. We all share the Creature’ s spirit
    My thin spaces? My deck where I can watch deer turkeys,squirrel,birds and butterflies play and see the divine in all. Go to the Convents of the Sisters of Charity or go to Olderburg. I think th8n spaces find you and pull you in.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*