Marty & Mindy

THIN PLACE

Written By: Mindy - Sep• 14•12

There is a Celtic saying that heaven and earth are only three feet apart,
but in the thin places that distance is even smaller.

Yesterday was a full day here in this simple Celtic community in foothills of the Alps. As we looked out the window of our lovely room the mountains seemed to be drawing us for a prayer walk. We drove a short 5 minutes to Lake Thun and began our walk.

We walked into an old church – Scherzligen.    It was empty (or so we thought). Marty walked up to the front and stood behind a small pulpit and began to sing in the spirit.  The acoustics were amazing. We smiled. There was something special about this old church. As we left the church and walked down towards the lake a man came out after us. He asked us in broken English if we would come back in 15 minutes and join him and a few others in a time of Taize singing.  We love Taize singing and worship.  We were with the Taize community in France a few years ago on our pilgrimage.

Needless to say we joined him and sang in German (made our best attempt) the distinctive and repeated prayer songs of Taize. We sang in an area of the church they call the “Thin Place”. In the Celtic tradition there are places that give us an opening into the magnificence and wonder of His presence. They are called “Thin Places”.

As we sang the echo of ages past seemed to ring and flow all around us – it was enchanting, divine, holy.  When the singing ended the gentleman said we must go see the giant sequoia tree behind the church. It too was known as a “Thin Place” to the Celtic christians.  You can see from our photo that the tree itself was magnificent.  We were standing in their “Thin Place“. Wow!  

We were then invited to join another group at 8pm in the small town of Aeschi with a larger group for an hour of Taize singing.  We drove the short 20 minutes and walked into candle lit church where 50 swiss men and women were humming in worship. A dear woman Caterine asked us to join in. We walked to the front of the church with the others and all we could do is cry, cry, cry and then cry some more.  The presence of God overwhelmed us.  The swiss were turning around to see who this was who was crying in the midst of their beautiful music.  But we couldn’t stop. Caterine turned to me and whispered in broken english, “this is a good place to cry – there are angles here”.

After what seemed forever we were able to join in the singing. They sang in Russian, German, Latin, English (yeah) and other languages unknown to me.  Then we all left the front of the church and walked up into the “Thin Place”. It was a small elevated rotunda behind the pulpit. Marty stayed below with a woman who arrived in her wheel chair, Rosa. Words fail to express the holy moments.  As we sang it felt as if we were joining countless others who had been there before, who were singing in heaven now. Holy.

Then during a song we all walked back down to the pew area and lit candles and waited in silence before God. Holy.  Another song, another hum and the night was over.  Something happened in us – God knows.

These dear people then invited us to join them at a hotel across the street for drinks.  They had all driven from different areas around Switzerland for this special night. We sat in a quaint lounge and celebrated life with new friends…Thomas a physicist on my left, across from me was Rosa  a par-olympic medal winner, Caterine an angel on my right and many others whom names I do not know but will one day worship with again in heaven.

We drove back to Einigen – filled to the brim in every way. 

 

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