the Thin Places
by Ellen Klyce
Tennessee Williams A Streetcar Named Desire, Stella
says to her
sister, Blanche, trying to explain her marriage to Stanley Kowalski,
"...there are things that happen between a man and a woman in the dark that
make everything else seem unimportant." Likewise, there are things that
happen between us and the Holy. Whatever the name, whatever the source, there
are moments when we sense, when we know, when we experience a sense of connection,
greatness, and wonder. And nothing else seems to matter.
rarely our culture encourages us to explore and share these
experiences! The child who sees an angel by her bath tub is told
distracted mother to please hurry out, it's time to go to bed.
who hesitatingly shares with a friend an amazing experience she's
embarrassed and stops.
an old song I sang at my disturbing and evangelical camp
that's another story) "Jesus may come in the morning... Jesus
may come at
noon.... Jesus may come in the evening.... so keep your heart in
Well of course.... God is raining down on us all the time... with
breath we take... with every move we make... of course... how can
we travel and not take our bodies, our hearts, our minds with us....
and just who do we think we are if not of God?
always amused me that intelligences we don't understand,
we dismiss. A
dog knows through its ears and nose thousands of bits
of information about which we're clueless. We don't
hear on those frequencies or sniff with that much discernment,
so we ignore much wisdom that a canine is ready and
willing and eager to dispense.
is like that I think. My favorite verse in the Bible is
one of the
ones that got axed... it's from the gospel of Thomas and it's Jesus
talking: "The kingdom of God is spread upon the earth and
men see it not."
Few of my friends would ever call me a literalist, but for this
sometimes I like to be one. It doesn't say that women and children
sentient beings of all description see it not.... No, the claim
those running the place, those making the rules and setting the
norms have overlooked this small and stunning fact.
all right here. And men see it not. And that doesn't mean
there's not a sensitive guy in the joint or that all of
them are Neanderthals run by testosterone and so what can
you do? No, there's more a suggestion that the group doesn't
get it.... that the institutional, mainstream day-to-day
point of view is overlooking the glory for the guts...
it's reassuring and validating every once in a while to
risk It. To
risk telling the truth, calling it as one sees it, sharing the
silly, beautiful experience of what all our senses...even the sixth
seventh ones... have to tell us. After all, the
oft-quoted 1st century Rabbi Hillel as well as Jesus himself both
said that God is with us when we are with each other.
go for it. Just for today take the risk of saying one outrageous
to someone maybe possibly you can trust. If you have a memory you
explain but makes your heart beat fast, tell someone. If you had
that has stayed with you and seems somehow to want to break into
day-time consciousness, share it. Risk talking about God, risk
one of your experiences of breath-taking weirdness and wonder.
you lose may be your own.... and then again you could help shake
else's. Now there's the kingdom of God.
that does make everything else seem unimportant.
Copyright © 2002