Thin places in your soul

Just for fun, I’m posting a short passage from some fiction I’m working on writing. Fiction is my first love in reading, but my second genre in writing. Nevertheless, here I am writing. But I’m feeling a bit insecure…so I thought I would post this to you and get your responses. I know you won’t have the plot set-up or the characters, but let me know what you think about the atmosphere, the rhythm, and maybe whether you would be motivated to read more. Deal?

That’s not all, he said leaning forward across the table. His jade green eyes sharpened and I knew – absolutely knew – that what came next would shift my world.

“Each soul has thin places in it, too.”

“Thin places in our souls?” my eyes darted up and down the scarred surface of the table, trying to find the sense in his words.

He sat, and watched.

I finally looked up at him with no further sense of the meaning.

“Think about what you already know about the thin places in the physical realm,” Douglas continued. “They are the places where heaven meets earth, and earth touches heaven. Have there been times in your personal story when God was inexplicably near?”

I started to remind him that until recently God hadn’t seemed anywhere to me, but I realized that wasn’t true. It was a memory, a fragment, a chid’s dream of a hushed presence on a still, quiet night. I had was six, and crying alone in my pink canopy bed about the death of a friendship earlier that afternoon. I was alone, until I suddenly didn’t feel alone anymore. I felt….held. Calm. I swiveled my head around the room expecting to see Dada, or Gramma. But there was no one there, and child like I had shrugged my shoulders and drifted to sleep, still comforted. Was this what Douglas meant?

I tried to describe the memory to him, but he stopped me after a few halting sentences.

“Yes! That’s it exactly! Or that bubble of peace for the hours after a person has died…have you felt that?” I shook my head ‘no’ and he rushed on. “It is the most amazing thing! There is one moment when they are breathing, struggling. And then there comes the moment when they are not. And I swear, Jenna, your soul holds its breath. And your mind just rests. You know now, Jenna, that there are angels nearby, waiting and worshipping. And God stoops close to earth, hardly able to contain himself as he waits for another child to come home. For you, back on this side of eternity, it is a thin place in your soul. It is a moment when God is near – so near and so holy you can’t breathe.”

I let my breath out slowly, realizing I had held it while he was speaking. He wasn’t done.

“Or there are other times…maybe when you are unbearably sad, like you were when you were six, but only now you are an adult. In that moment of sadness you choose. You choose to rant and rave and beat the wall, or you choose to draw your breath in and speak faith into the void. You praise.

“That’s not an ordinary moment, Jenna. It is a spiritually charged piece of dynamite, a moment when the universe hung on your choice, and you chose God once again. Your praise, worship, grasping steps of faith, unlocked the portal between heaven and earth. Just for the moment, just for a time. God himself is near!”

While Douglas was speaking I felt chills up and down my spine. For just a moment I imagined I could be more than I was, more than a woman struggling to make sense of life. I was more than Jenna, more than Nico’s wife. Just…more. I felt like a part of a larger dance. I looked at Douglas again, wondering.

By Marla Saunders

I am passionately devoted to living my life in the places God has given me. Over the years those places have changed: from homeschooler to businesswoman, from consumer to storyteller. These days I’m focusing on building a new business and figuring out what it means to do everything with integrity and informed by faith.