Thursday, October 22, 2009
Places of Light 3, Krystyna Sanderson
Throughout life there are moments - times and spaces - where the distance between the physical world and the spiritual realm is barely distinguishable, where the kingdom of heaven seems to touch the soil of earth. In Celtic spirituality these are referred to as thin places.
Yesterday a string of circumstances put me sitting in a hospital room by the bed of a dear saint - a woman who has seen a lot of suffering in her long years and who is now in severe physical pain from a broken hip. Muriel was dejected, confused, and hurting. She had an oxygen tube under her nose, bruises up and down her arms, and hospital blankets pulled around her fragile frame, but her eyes were what broke my heart.
We read Psalm 103. Her eyelids lowered.
"...who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases... who satisfies your desires with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's... the Lord has compassion on those who fear him... from everlasting to everlasting..."
Her lips moved and her brow furrowed. Tears slipped down my cheeks as I watched her soak in the words, tasting them, feeding on them out of a deep hunger. In that moment there was nowhere else on earth I would rather have been.
I want to be in those places - in the space where God meets us in our utter helplessness and satisfies us. I need to be where people are needy - I need to see my own neediness reflected there, and eat with my fellow beggars at the Table of truth and grace. In the midst of a life so easily sidetracked by selfishness, I need frequent and routine reminders of reality -- that apart from Jesus Christ I am wholly without a hope or future, and without Him absolutely nothing matters.