There are no more thin places.

Ireland is beautiful

Here’s my nominee for post/conversation thread of the week from Tony Jones’ website (but nods to our buddy Steve Knight’s post on this as well).

Tony Jones says this:

For years, I’ve been talking about the fallacy of the “sacred-secular” divide. It’s made up. It doesn’t actually exist.

I say this because God is ever-present, everywhere. God isn’t more some places and less in other places. God is, in the classic sense, omnipresent.

I am a fan of Celtic theology which was one of the first to suggest this idea of “thin places”, where the boundaries between Heaven and Earth seem to dissolve. Traditionally, these are places of natural beauty and sacredness that take your breath away or leave you feeling one with creation. But they don’t have to be – they can even be in communal moments, like a candlelight service at the end of a retreat, a small group session, or a few hours working with the needy in your neighborhood.

However, could it also be at a bbq? On a street corner? In a parking lot? In a big box retailer? At a contentious city council meeting? In a public school classroom? In a travel stop restroom? With an angry neighbor? At a gas station?

I think so.

Sure, there are some places that can seem sacred right from the get go. They catch our attention. They do take our breath away.

But if we try carefully, can we see God everywhere we go?

Right here in Dallas, I think thin places abound, and no, they are not all west of 75. Even around our church, with dollar stores, fried chicken joints, a place called “the Hood Store”, thrift shops, the Taco Joint, Baylor Hospital, and so on, God’s presence abounds. Are we shying away from or joining with that reconciling Spirit of Love all around us?

I almost want to turn Tony’s last sentence into a prayer:

Pay attention. God is already where you are.

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About Nathan

writer, singer, songwriter, theologian, father, and friend in Dallas, TX - read more about Nathan's work at tabledallas.org View all posts by Nathan

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