Holy in the Daily

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How a home becomes a thin place

Would Saint Patrick Feel at Home at Your House? He should.

Has your house become a home—a habitation for the God who became human? Celtic Christians had a name for such places. They called them “thin places.”

I live in a typical American small town with my house located in what once was a rural part of our community. Large picture windows overlook oak covered hills off of our back deck. Out front, Highway 101 is my immediate neighbor across the street.

This seems an odd place 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.

Thin places

This is the house where I have raised our six children, battled my private demons, and it’s the spot of earth where God has shaped me. I’m fully human here—the good, the bad, and the 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.

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 walls can’t talk.

Uniting your joy and pain

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 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 and not 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 an excess 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?

Have a lovely Saint Patrick’s Day … and remember that St. Pat was a Celtic Christian. He knew about thin places. And now, so do you.

Susan

“Jesus likes it when we share.” -Adelaide, age 3: Pass this along to everybody and their brother. OK, maybe not everybody’s brother, but you know … all of your friends would be nice.

(Most of this post first appeared in Is Your Home a Thin Place? on my August 9, 2010 blog post … Just in case it seemed familiar.)

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  1. cindy king

    watching my family in Ireland sit and look out the window over the ocean and green fields and its beauty with pictures they send ,i will not wish i was there any more since i now realize its NOT a thin place thank you for this story never thought of it that way and should have . I think i will stick with our house here where its a thin place and shall ever be with like you say the pain and joy and growth . reminds me of our worship that goes better to be one day in your house then a thousand else where .

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