Take time to rest in the ‘thin places’ of life, faith

Published 8:08 pm Friday, December 22, 2023

I’ve been reading Shauna Niequist’s devotional book, “Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are as You Are” this year. I have so enjoyed the author’s insight on “everyday living” especially since many of her daily topics are reflective of my own life.

This week, Niequist talked about “thin places.”

I had heard of this term but wanted to dive deeper into its meaning. In doing so, I discovered the saying “thin places” is derived from Celtic tradition and basically refers to a realm which exists between heaven and earth.

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On catholicprofiles.org., Julianne Stanz elaborated on the expression by describing it as a “thin space existing not only outside us, but also within us.” She went on to say, “In each person’s life are thin places where that person experiences God’s presence in a way that stirs the soul.”

I would imagine that on the night Christ was born, the shepherds in the fields experienced a “thin place” not only outwardly but as Stanz said, also inwardly.

There they were just hanging out in the fields doing what shepherds do and all of the sudden an angel appeared.

Heaven and earth don’t get much closer than that. Even more so, as the shepherds are standing there wondering what the heck is going on, and then as described in the Bible beginning in Luke 2:8 – “the Angel of the Lord speaks telling them not to be afraid and then announces a Savior has been born” – it’s a thin place.

And certainly, this thin place experience continues when the sky becomes filled with a “heavenly host of angels singing.”

But I think that night the shepherds experienced yet another “thin place” after they followed the Angel of the Lord’s instructions and left to find the baby who was wrapped in swaddling clothes.

No doubt their hearts stirred with an indescribable feeling – a thin place when they saw Jesus.

After the birth of each of my children, I experienced a love that felt no bounds – a “thin place” between heaven and earth. There have been other times in my life when my soul was stirred – one each year at our church’s Christmas Eve candlelight service.

After the lights are dimmed and each person in the congregation is standing there with their face illuminated from the flickering candles and singing “Silent Night,” I experience a thin place – a place where heaven is on earth.

“So, they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.  When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.  But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.  The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.” Luke 2:16-20 (NIV)

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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