Daily Prayer 365

Day 33
Monday, October 3, 2022


The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?
—Psalm 27:1

The ancient pagan Celts, and later Christians, used the term “thin places” to describe mesmerizing places like the wind-swept rocky isle of Iona—now part of Scotland. Heaven and earth the Celtic saying goes, are only three feet apart, but in thin places that distance is even shorter.

So what exactly makes a place thin? It’s easier to say what a thin place is not. A thin place is not necessarily a tranquil place, or a fun one, or even a beautiful one though it may be all of those things too. Disney World is not a thin place. Nor is Cancún. Thin places relax us yes, but they also transform us—or, more accurately unmask us.

In thin places, we become our more essential selves. Thin places are often sacred ones—St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, the Blue Mosque in Istanbul—but they need not be at least not conventionally so. A park or even a city square can be a thin place. So can an airport.

I love airports. I love their self-contained, hermetic quality, and the way they make me feel that I am floating, suspended between coming and going. One scholar noted “some parts of space are qualitatively different from others.” An Apache proverb takes that idea a step further: “Wisdom sits in places.” —Eric Weiner, Where Heaven and Earth Come Closer (NYT 2012)

God give us a tranquil place, a rootedness that drives us toward transformation. Be our light and guide the way. Amen.  —The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster

October 3, 2022

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