Religion-Outside-The-Box

The 77% Weekly

The 40/52-weeks-a-year, spiritual-religious newsletter

From Sparky Jamison 29/40

Thin Spaces
by Sparky Jamison


Every now and then, as I seek God in the everyday, I’m astonished to find that there is the thinnest of membranes between us, God and me — a time or place in which I can sense a nearness of spirit that’s hard to describe.  Those moments are likely to leave me with inadequate words, for it’s an experience of profound comfort and grace and, dare I say, understanding of my place in God and God’s place in me.  It’s not ecstasy.  It’s quieter.  But it’s so intense that it can’t be sustained for very long.

Marcus J.  Borg, in his book The Heart of Christianity, uses the term “thin places” to describe this nearness.

[Thin spaces are] places where the boundary between the two levels [ordinary experience and the sacred] becomes very soft, porous, permeable.  Thin places are places where the veil momentarily lifts, and we behold God, experience the one in whom we live, all around us and within us…  A thin place is anywhere our hearts are opened.  To use sacramental language, a thin place is a sacrament of the sacred, a mediator of the sacred, a means whereby the sacred becomes present to us.  A thin place is a means of grace…  sometimes our hearts are broken open by such experiences. 

Borg goes on to say that thin places can be a literal place, or an experience.  It can be music or art, joy or suffering.  It can be worship or prayer.  It is “the opening of the self to the Spirit of God by spending time in thin places — those places and practices through which we become open to and nourished by the Mystery in whom we love and move and have our being.”

The most profound such time was just after the death of my mother a few years ago.  When she took her last breath, just before her heart stopped, a single tear slipped out of the corner of her eye.  Just one very small tear.  It might have simply been a physiological response to a body shutting down.  Or it might have been something else.  It stayed with me, and still does.  It was a message to me of sadness and relief and love and surrender.  And comfort.

In the days after her death I talked at length to those closest to me about God’s nearness in that moment.  Words tumbled out of me, into willing ears and onto pages.  I described the gift of bearing witness to her death, and her passage to God — where? — as a moment during which a window was open wide.  And it remained open to me for many days.  I had a sense in the days that followed that I needed to stay by the window and pay close attention to God as long as possible because I knew it would gradually, necessarily, mercifully, nearly close.  And it did.

A prayer: Our hearts long to be broken open in this way.  Mine does.  When it happens, God make me willing to remain by the open window while I can. 

 

 

Sparky Jamison
W
Sparky Jamison is one of Annie’s Godparents. Jane and Rabbi Brian admire her; her and her husband Jeff’s relationship; and the relationship the two of them have with their children – both of whom are now off in college.


Some time ago, Sparky read a phrase of Marcus Borg’s, was excited about it, and brought it up at dinner. I asked her to write it as an article. Here it is. Thank you, Sparky.-Rb

 

Recent Podcast

ROTB-Podcast

 

Toe stubbing will pass…

Rabbi Brian stubbed his toes three times in a week and it made him think about King Solomon’s (apocryphal) adage, “This too shall pass.”  (Wouldn’t you have done the same?)

ROTB Prayer Page

PrayerRequest

Add or see names on

The ROTB f/b prayer list

 

 


Notes

All responses to this e-mail will be forwarded to Sparky.

If you want to send to her directly, please do so

at this address which will forward to her: sparky@rotb.org

  —————————-

Do you have an article that you think the readers of The 77% Weekly would enjoy?  Let me know…

-Rb

 

A big thank you to Sparky for sharing this with us.

If you have a comment, please click to send a message that will forward directly to Sparky.

And, if you haven’t yet filled out the ROTB 3.0 survey, please do.  (390 people already have!)

-Rb

Help? I would love to tell you that 77% of subscribers make some donation, but the truth is that far, far, far less than 23% do.  Click for details.Consider making a one-time donation or giving monthly!

$15

$77

$180

$1000

Donate Donate Donate Donate

$1 an issue

($3.34 a month)

$6.42 a month
($77 a year)

Subscribe Subscribe

THANK YOU!

ROTB’s newsletter, website, and podcasts cost thousands of dollars to publish and maintain.  Please consider making a contribution to help defray the costs. (Note: Neither Rabbi Brian nor any member of the board receive ANY money for their hard work.)
Play

SUPPORT

FREE NEWSLETTER

ABOUT

TOOLS

100% spiritual growth + money back guarantee. Dismiss

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This