My friend Carl posted this week on Facebook these photos of the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, Georgia. In May of this year he made life promises there as a lay Cistercian. (read about it here) With him were Father Luke (100 years old!) and Father Anthony, whose promises long ago have led them into a life of simplicity, prayer and community. The photo of the MOHS sanctuary strikes me as a place that is "thin" for many, not only the monks who reside there but the thousands of other seekers who come to be welcomed by a community of hospitality that ushers them lovingly into such thin spaces.
Many also find thin spaces in the world, outside of the walls of sanctuaries and temples. Talk to my friends who have spent time on Crystal Lake in Michigan and you will hear sacred stories of community, connection and Christ. In both places, the sacred experience is tied to more than just physical beauty or the way the world is hushed by chanting or the lapping of waves on the shore. Holiness may look like the loving eyes of Father Luke who has prayed with countless pilgrims or it may look like the genuine grin of a young camp counselor who finally makes a 3rd grader laugh out loud on the last day of his first experience of sleep-away camp. What does holiness look like for you today?
For the beauty of the earth, for the wonder of each hour ... we approach this summer in search of thin spaces and rejoicing in the love we find there.
Children's Choir Singing For the Beauty of the Earth