Thin Time by Gareth Lawrence

We are living in times of change and uncertainty. Where is God in all this?

God is with us. God is not distant. It is true that, “Even heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain [God].”[1] but also God dwells, “…with those who are contrite and humble in spirit…to revive the spirit of the contrite and to revive the heart of the humble.” [2]

Supremely, God came to us as a human being: Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus was born into a time of change and uncertainty. He knows what we are going through. That means God knows what we are going through.

How do we make contact with the God who wants to dwell with us? Recently, Rev’d Karen wrote about “Thin Places” where it is easier for us to make contact with God: the seashore or great cathedrals. These days it is difficult to go to such “Thin Places”, especially if you need to use public transport. But there are other possible “Thin Places”. A walk in Bushy Park could be a “Thin Place” for some people; the tow-path along the Thames could be another, although less easy to keep proper distancing. And for parents of young children the need to keep an eye out for their off-spring could be a distraction.

What about a “Thin Time”? That is a part of the day you can set aside time for God to contact you. It could be a time of quiet reflection, possibly in the early morning before the pressures of the day make their presence known. Or, if you have a young child who has an afternoon sleep, that could be your “Thin Time”. But for other people it need not be a time of quiet reflection. A 17th century Lay monk in Paris, known as Brother Lawrence, experienced a connection with God whilst cooking and washing up in his monastery’s kitchen. “…he does not ask much of us, merely a thought of him from time to time…..Lift up your heart to him in your meals and in company; the least little remembrance will always be the most pleasing to him. One need not cry out very loudly; he is nearer to us than we think [3]

God wants to meet us in our own “Thin Place” and/or “Thin Time”. All we have to do is to be open to that meeting.

 

References. 1. Kings 8:27 2. Isaiah 57:15 3. The Practice of the Presence of God