Thin Places?

Flowers saved me. Not like Jesus saves me, of course. But that’s what ran through my mind yesterday as I bent to smell the fuchsia peony. The scent of the flower next to the sidewalk took me back to my mother’s garden. In the emotional barrenness of my childhood on the farm, her peonies, lilies, and roses spoke to me of another reality. Peonies still speak to me today.

In my childhood whiff of another place, I sensed a life I longed for. A life of hugs and belonging and affirming words. I didn’t have those words for that experience then. Just a vague sense. Only looking back can I put words to the bit of hope that carried me through that desert.

Mary DeMuth’s new memoir of her difficult childhood, Thin Places, describes those experiences where she sensed God’s hope, where the boundary between earth and heaven was “thin.”

Flowers continue to be a thin place for me. Snuggling with my sweet husband is a thin place. Group singing of worship songs is often, though not always, a thin place.

What saved you in childhood? What strengthens your hope now as you long for the Kingdom fully come? Where are your “thin places”?

Jesus, thank you for those scents of you. Those that carried us through and those that are still thin places.

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2 Comments

  1. What saved me in childhood? Books. The Barbie house my dad built me. Bike rides by myself. They helped me get through the days until I found REAL hope.

    What strengthens my hope now are the words God speaks to me as I sing in the car. He says things like He is there no matter what happens, that He will not leave me, abandon me, or hurt me. That I am worth far more to Him than I could ever imagine. That He’s not to blame for the evil in the world. Trust my instincts — oftentimes that’s Him speaking to me.

    And then there are the many times My kind, gracious God uses the community He has put us in to encourage, affirm, and love on me. Many times when I’m with other believing women I feel like Jesus is sitting with us. Like they speak with His authority.

    1. Sara, thanks for sharing. May your words encourage many. May faith, hope, and love be yours in increasing abundance. Karen

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