As you may know we have returned this week from leading a retreat on Holy island. One of the draws of the place is that it feels like a thin place, a place where there seems very little distance between heaven and earth. I am sure we will explore of more of this in future blogs, but for this Honest Christianity I want to take this principle and apply it to myself, am I, and how can I become more of a “thin person”? I do not mean the 5:2 diet Sally and I have been on for a year (works for us), I mean how can I be a person that leaves little room between my humanity and a reflection of our God. Or perhaps I might express it as people being able to see more of the image of God I am created in. There is a bit of a tension in talking about ourselves that can veer from self-deprecating to arrogant but what I am trying to communicate is that if I am choosing to try and live to for the glory and Kingdom of God then seeking to be a “thin person” is a consequence of this.
The other side to this is of course that if I am also wholly, honestly, humanly living amongst others then this also can potentially bring glory to God. But I think I also want to, and seek to be, as pure a reflection of God’s shalom, peace, grace, love that I can be.
When people visit places like Lindisfarne, Iona, the garden tomb in Jerusalem for the first time, and have this type for feeling, they may not know what to call it, or even what it is, or why it is. But they do feel something different to other places, a peaceful place, a place to be human, rest, how you would like everywhere to feel. We also feel like this about some people we meet. They make us feel better about ourselves not them. They are not the focus, but you want to be around them. Could it be that we sense something of God’s lived out presence and values in them?
So daily I work towards being a “thin person” but realise that sometimes I may inadvertently have put my Sumo suit on!