A few summers ago I was blessed with the help of seven college kids over a period of three months. For two short weeks all seven kids were together and my house turned into a “college dorm”. The evening sessions of John strumming the guitar and all the rest singing along or just talking about life in general have been filed in the folder of “good times” in my memory.
One of the perks of that summer was being introduced to Facebook, the web site of the young and now not so young. Through Facebook I am able to keep in touch with most all the young people who have come through Morning Glory and have renewed acquaintance with friends from years gone by, long distanced by circumstance and work. It is really easy, a necessity for me, being the computer whuz that I am, to upload photos and keep in touch with friends spread across the United States and over the world.
A few weeks ago a young man, who is very dear to my heart wrote on my wall that my home and Morning Glory were “thin places” in his heart. Curious as to what a “thin place” might be, I went to the site that he posted. I found this definition of a “thin place.” “There is a Celtic saying that heaven and earth are only three feet apart, but in the thin places that distance is even smaller.. A thin place is where the veil that separates heaven and earth is lifted and one is able to receive a glimpse of the glory of God.”
I rejoiced and yet was humbled that Charlie would consider Morning Glory School a place where one catches a glimpse of the glory of God. However what better testimony can there be of the wonderful provision and the mercies of God than this little corner of the world where children feel safe and loved?
A few weeks ago I had to stay in the office and work on paperwork alone after school. Bored with numbers, I decided to go outside and rest for a few moments. The silence was deafening, the empty buildings seemed to rest and wait for the life that would inhabit them with the coming of a new day. I thought about what Charlie wrote. Could it be that the buildings and grounds were somewhere special, was there exceptional beauty to be found in this place? What is it that make Morning Glory a place where God can be seen? The answer came to me in a moment. It is not the buildings, the gardens, the playing field or even the beautiful blood red lily that blooms outside my office that makes this humble place special. It is the laughter of the children, the sound of their voices as they learn and play. It is the spontaneous love and unconditional acceptance that is expressed in all deeds small and great. Morning Glory is a safe haven, a place of rest for the abused, the hurting, the lost and lonely child. It is a place where learning and worshiping God is fun, where the Savior is our best friend and every child has a place and there is room in our arms for all. Morning Glory is more than a school or a place to learn to read and write, thanks to all who share in the ministry, Morning Glory is a place that we learn to live.
The more I thought the more I realized that there should be nothing special about this “thin place.” Our lives should all be such places where those who contemplate and witness our journey would say of us: “there is a thin place, a person who reflects the glory of God in deed and truth.” There is a song that says “Lord let there be less of me, so that there can be more of You.” That is what thin places are all about. Emptying ourselves of self and occupying the empty space with God. So often self gets in the way and instead of a “thin place” our lives become an obstacle to others who are searching for a glimpse of glory.
The author of the article concludes with an invitation: “I invite you to reflect on the thin places in your own life. Where is a place that refreshes your spirit and opens the door to the threshold of the sacred?” I would take that invitation one more step. “Is what you see in the mirror a “thin place?” I ask of myself and I ask of you; “Am I blocking the view? Or is my life so transparent and honest that those who see me see God reflected in all I do and say?” Is my home a place where the glory of God is apparent? In times of economic hardships is our faith firmly placed on God our Provider or are we worrying about His provision? Are we so caught up in the buildings and the gardens that we become deaf to the laughter of children? Are we so “busy” doing the work of the Lord that we forget to be still and listen to His voice? Are our “things” in the way? Are we too occupied to sit with our children for a moment and play jacks, jump rope, fly a kite or play marbles? Are we so busy looking at the temporary that we can’t see the eternal? Do you have time to hug a lonely child, listen to a confused parent, and sit quietly with the grieving? Does your watch dominate your life? May our goal always be that others see in us a “thin space” where the glory of God shines through and our words and actions reflect those of Jesus who gathered the children around him and look time to love and listen.