Lost in the Liminality

A sign that someone is between Warren Street and __________ (unknown).

Almost everyone I know is between things: Between jobs, between homes, between employment and retirement, between cancer treatment and recovery, between doubt and faith. For sale signs are thick on the ground in Watertown this summer. Behind each sign is not just a physical structure that one might tour, price, purchase. Behind each sign is a person or a family that finds itself in liminal space.

The mystics of most faith traditions tell us that being in between is a holy thing. Liminal space opens us up by shearing away what is familiar and sturdy within and around us. It is a “thin place” where we can feel the Spirit, hear the still small voice, touch something that is a little frightening but life-saving.

But the people I know who are in between aren’t exactly thrilled to be there. They aren’t reading the mystics. They are reading the want ads. They are sitting in doctors’ offices. They are unsure what to say when people ask them how they are. Liminal schmiminal.

The psalms celebrate the God who brings us out “into an open place,” and the gospels show us a God who is always on the move, and always pushing us out the door and onto the road. I wonder what we can do, together, to find God in the “in between” times. I wonder what new priorities or ways of doing things we are being called to during this season when our economy, our culture, and so much else seems to be “in between.” Read the mystics together? Sit and breathe? Break bread — more of it, and more often — together. Fill a stadium and pray for the country? What do you think?

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About amymccreath

I'm a pastor and mother who loves to make connections between people, between ideas, and between stuff we label "sacred" and "secular." I aspire to be like a Cedar of Lebanon in the midst of the changes and chances of life, but like most folks, generally find that I can really only navigate the tumult hand in hand with others. Good coffee helps, too.
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