Late last night, while snuggling close, basking under the soft glow of the Christmas tree, he and I were ever so graciously brought to a thin space together. There were tears on my part, of course, my heart buckling under the weight of such yearning and gratefulness.
For those of you who are unfamiliar to the term, in the words of Mary E. DeMuth, a thin space is “one of those serendipitous territories where eternity and the mundane meet… Thin places are snatches of holy ground, tucked into the corners of our world, where, if we pay very close attention, we might just catch a glimpse of eternity… Thin places are snatches of time, moments really, when we sense God intersecting our world in tangible, unmistakable ways. They are aha moments, beautiful realizations, when the Son of God bursts through the hazy fog of our monotony and shines on us afresh.”
One of my thin spaces in particular are those rare moments where I set apart time to sing the hymn Be Unto Your Name. The first time I can recall singing this song, I was attending my childhood church, sitting two rows from the front on the left hand side, right next to my beloved friend and mentor. As we began singing the verse, my throat swelled shut and I think my heart skipped a beat. I was suddenly overcome with this overwhelming feeling of smallness and gratefulness. And in the same moment, I began to notice the angels hovering above and around the congregation, their voices rising alongside ours in such a harmonious melody, singing “Holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty!”
So last night, as I curled up on the couch with my son with the hopes of him being lulled into a peaceful slumber, I began to sing that beloved song. And, before I even recognized what he was doing, Matthew was singing along with me in his own childish way, without words, only a range of off key sounds, some loud, others quiet and gentle.
It brought tears, as one might expect, especially when I realized that together, he and I, were experiencing the Holy One, each in our own way.