I live in a typical American small town with my house located in what used to be a rural part of our community. This house is situated so that large picture windows overlook oak-covered hills off of our back deck, which is an extension of our living room.
Highway 101 is my immediate neighbor across the street. During the weeks of the popular California Mid State Fair, just up the highway from us, the traffic noise can last until 2:00 in the morning.
This seems an odd location for a girl raised on a ranch—on one side I view the hills and quiet meadows, and on the other side, I view a steady parade of big rigs, RVs, and lots of cars.
Obviously, I spend more time on the back deck than on the front porch. Yet, this is where God has placed me to live the life he has given me, and for that I am grateful.
This is the house where I have raised our six children, battled my private demons, and is the main spot of earth where God has shaped me. I can be fully human here—the good, bad, and ugly in me all meet here with the God who became human.
This house has become my “thin place”—a sacred place where heaven and earth connect.
How a house becomes a thin place
I think for a house to become such a place, a thin place, there has to the element of “real”—raw living that faces the struggles of life not with strength, but with the grace of God that teaches and molds us into his image—one living, eternal cell at a time.
Maybe becoming a thin place includes living in one location long enough to have the “real” permeate the foundations, walls, and rafters of the house. I’m not sure about that, but I wonder. Anyway, I’m glad the walls can’t talk.
There have been many times in the past when I have wanted to move away—leave the bad memories along with the good—if it would help take the pain away. But pain signals the need for healing and bad memories can become landmarks of the work of God in my life if I’m willing to go through the pain rather than escape it.
This house has seen a lot of laughter, but a lot of pain and healing too. The laughter overshadows the pain and leaves a residue of joy.
Is your home a thin place? Has the element of “real” carried you through the painful times to where heaven and earth connect?
Does your house contain the decorations of the Spirit obtained through time and struggle?
Has your house become a home—a habitation for the God who became human?
In Him together, Susan Gaddis