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Thin Places?


By Karen Rabbitt

Flowers saved me. Not like Jesus saves me, of course. But that’s what ran through my mind yesterday as I bent to smell the fuchsia peony. The scent of the flower next to the sidewalk took me back to my mother’s garden. In the emotional barrenness of my childhood on the farm, her peonies, lilies, and roses spoke to me of another reality. Peonies still speak to me today.

In my childhood whiff of another place, I sensed a life I longed for. A life of hugs and belonging and affirming words. I didn’t have those words for that experience then. Just a vague sense. Only looking back can I put words to the bit of hope that carried me through that desert.

Mary DeMuth’s new memoir of her difficult childhood, Thin Places, describes those experiences where she sensed God’s hope, where the boundary between earth and heaven was “thin.”

Flowers continue to be a thin place for me. Snuggling with my sweet husband is a thin place. Group singing of worship songs is often, though not always, a thin place.

What saved you in childhood? What strengthens your hope now as you long for the Kingdom fully come? Where are your “thin places”?

Jesus, thank you for those scents of you. Those that carried us through and those that are still thin places.

Copyright 2009 Karen Rabbitt

Read my story, which includes questions for personal reflection, in Trading Fathers: Forgiving Dad, Embracing God. Go to www.karenrabbitt.com


Karen Rabbitt, M.S.W., a seasoned psychotherapist, has written for Marriage Partnership and Today’s Christian Woman, in addition to writing her own story, Trading Fathers: Forgiving Dad, Embracing God (WinePress, 2009). She speaks on emotionally healthy Christianity with a special emphasis on the forgiveness process. A grandmother, she has been married to Jerry since 1972, lives in Illinois, and attends a Vineyard church. www.karenrabbitt.com