every so often in life, i have what the ancient Celts used to call a ‘thin place’. what they meant was it was a holy moment. a time where God’s presence was so tangible that the gap between heaven and earth felt so thin.
i’ve had a few of these times in my life, but they are the exception rather than the norm. and i suppose this is a good thing. God cares more about how we live in the smaller moments. in the mundane and the ordinary.
but the last few days have been a thin place for me. it began on thursday night when i chatted to sarah about feeling weak and vulnerable in my faith. something that i struggled to put into words or comprehend. but as i tried to express what was going on inside my mind and emotions, i came to some sort of realisation that i felt burdened by weights of expectancy and fear of failure.
this weekend i was communicating at a large outreach event which lots of churches from a particular area had come together to put on. it had been months of preparation for them. hours of meetings. days of planning. weeks of prayer. their heart was simple for it – that young people would come to know Jesus.
i’ve never felt like a public evangelist. i love communicating God’s word, but it always has felt more about equipping than evangelising. add to this my growing frustration for a vocabulary i’m not sure i grasp when it comes to explaining the good news of Jesus, as well as my recent searching, even confusion, as to what the heart of God’s message actually is, among the myriad of opinion, debate and wide authorship from within Christian culture.
perhaps this is what i was wrestling with on thursday. but i’m not sure.
and so feeling unequipped for the task ahead of me, as well as the weight of responsibility of communicating the good news of Jesus in 3 short talks with over 200 young people, i stepped into the weekend, and into the thinnest of places i’ve known for quite some time.
thin as i wrestled
thin as i doubted
thin as i prepared
thin as i spoke
thin as i watched young people serve
thin as i saw young people respond
thin as i drove home worshipping Jesus in the car
thin as i rested