Last week I wrote about the threshold places in our lives. Something called “liminal space” where we are in between what was and what is yet to come. I was encouraged at how many people touched base with me through Facebook, Twitter, and my email to tell me that this is exactly where they believe that they have found themselves to be and have viewed that season very negatively up to now.
After doing a little more reading this week I have been encouraged to consider creating liminal spaces in my life. Instead of fearing, dreading or avoiding those in between places where everything feels like it is standing still I’m encouraged to actually seek them out. It is in those spaces that we learn to truly desire the guidance of the Holy Spirit, not just accommodate it if it should materialize. It is also in those liminal spaces that we learn who we truly are.
I believe this is the space where the most sincere forms of worship take place. These are the places where we are basically saying to God, “Unless you show up here in this, I am done for!” It is a place of very simple prayers, honest confessions, and humble praise. Thresholds teach us that anything beautiful that has happened is a gift, any comfort is truly from his Spirit, and that whatever we experience in this interim is intentional preparation.
The thresholds teach us the difference between what we really believe and what we only wish we believe.
I’m beginning to see that those whom I call the People of the Thresholds are not always the most comfortable to be around. We have so many questions, we probe beyond the stock answers, and nudge until we feel like we are a little closer to the whole truth. For those who are not in that space it can be off-putting and even seem a bit caustic.
This is where I see some of us experiencing what I call “the steeple in the road” by the church.
The obstacles of pat answers, the need to tie a bow around our pain, to “fix” us, or to speak in a dialect of Christian-ese that we don’t even understand is the church dragging the steeple into the road. For many the steeple in the road is any time that the church has ignored, misunderstood, or mislabeled them.
I believe it is the People of the Thresholds who can actually move the steeple out of the road for so many who question whether they even belong in Christian community or not. Maybe the most sincere form of Christian community is one that worships in the thresholds.