thin places.


"The Celts believed that heaven and earth were only three feet apart; they also had a belief in "Thin Places", places where the distance was even closer. Places which were awash with the presence of God. Places which intensified and overwhelmed with the awareness of the glory and presence of God." 

Professor Seely described "thin places" to us the other day. I love the idea of it. It is something that I have always thought about, but to have such an accurate and descriptive term for those moments make them that much more real to me. Thin places are little gifts from God. They can't be planned for or expected. The only thing we can do is hope that our eyes can see, our ears can hear, and our hearts can feel when we encounter a thin place. 
Just thinking about thin places makes my heart happy. The other night I couldn't stop thinking about them. Thin places come in so many forms, at so many times, in so many places. For me, they are moments when you are perfectly present. Moments when time seems to stretch from one infinity to the next. Moments when you wouldn't want to be in any other place in the world than where you are at that exact moment. Moments when your heart feels a little tight because you are perfectly content. I think these thin places are little peeks into what Heaven will be like. 
When I think of thin places that I've encountered...I think of a lot of instances. In Jerusalem I've had a lot of "thin place" experiences. Although there are a lot of long days here, days of sitting in class or studying on a beanbag, with lunch and dinner being your only respite; there are little peeks of thin places in between it all that make this place unforgettable. Golden moments that couldn't be re-created anywhere else. Moments like singing a hymn together in a magnificent church tucked away in the Old City. Moments like talking late into the night with a friend, never wanting your conversation to end, and loving every part of them so completely that in that second you wouldn't change a single thing. Moments like sitting out on the terrace, and looking at the Holy City all it up. Moments like laying out under the starry sky in Bethlehem thinking about the birth of the Savior. Moments like watching a Jewish woman fervently praying at the Western wall. Moments like watching Jack Belnap reciting "Harry Potter in 99 seconds" and remembering everything that is good about being a kid. Moments like laughing so hard at the talent show that your abs are tired the next day. 
I know it's a random list. But that's kind of the point. Thin places come in all shapes and sizes. Spiritual moments, happy moments, funny moments. I could go on. But I just wanted to acknowledge a few of them. I believe the more we acknowledge thin places, the more we won't miss them. I hope we can all see the thin places that we are blessed with. I hope we can appreciate them. And most importantly I hope they can all bring us the joy that they are intended to. 
Additionally. A few photos from the last week. 

Western Wall. (ww)
 ww. Liza, Jenny, Ali. 
 ww plaza.
 ww Women's Section.
 Church of St. Francis.
 Blurry. But this guy was cool.
 Old City. 

 Holy Sepulchre. 
 Chacos on Chacos.
 Pretty Dani.
 Oooold Graffiti.
 Me and Ang.

 Rampart's Walk.
 Josh and his blurry ear.
 Our pretty house on a hill.
 Scaring people from the wall.

 Babes of Bethlehem.
 Brad, Josh, Jason.
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  1. This post is perfect. I love you Carl

  2. Hi this is Josh's mom. I'm so glad I stumbled upon your blog! You are an insightful writer! Thank you for keeping us filled in. You are lovely and may I say--soooo beautiful! Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thank you so much! You are so kind, and I'm completely flattered. Josh has told me so much about you and your family, I'm just disappointed I won't get to meet you when we fly home. Thanks for raising such a great son, Josh is one of my best friends! Hope the rest of your family is doing well!