Thin Spaces – Letting the Light of Christ Radiate Through Us

A lovely devotional reflection, Thin Spaces, by a spiritual director named Paula Mitchell, was posted as a Holy Week devotional at Godspace last week.  It is a beautiful and powerful Christ-centered reflection on what it means to let the light of Christ permeate and shine forth from our lives.  It makes a good Easter devotional as we think about the new life and light His resurrection makes possible.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Saints, too, each a thin space unique in their own way

holy ground, fertile soil, pounded thin

by circumstance, pain, suffering

compassion birthed in the soft soil of holy lives given to God.

They prayed that the life of Christ might take root, grow, and produce fruit-

holy ground, fertile ground, given to God

heaven touching earth–thin space

fully alive for the glory of God

[…]

Paul learned

he is made perfect not in his strength

but in his weakness.

Thin enough to be broken

Thin enough for the life of Jesus

to break through

reminding us all

it is no longer we who live but the life we now live is Christ’s own life

mysterious, embodied, thin space

Christ in me the hope of glory

not my glory

His-

What about you?

Do you hunger and thirst for thin spaces?

People who let the light of Christ radiate in them

Light bearers

Christ bearers

Those who carry the death of Christ in their bodies

so they may carry the life of Christ into the world.

Into your world

that you might know his presence in and with you.

Those who bear his wounds, who share his heart,

who bring compassion and peace

To the chaos of our times

To the chaos of our lives

Thin spaces

Holy ground

Sometimes I wonder,

Can I be a thin space?

It’s what I want-

what I hunger and thirst for-

what I’m afraid of-

To become so thin

Radiant

That the life of Christ

shines through me

radiates from me, is embodied in me

whether I know it or not.

So I no longer live but the life I live in my body is the life

of Christ  living in me

Thin space

Holy ground

For the light shines in the darkness

And the darkness can never ever put it out…

–Paula Mitchell

I strongly encourage you to go read the full poem / reflection

***

Two songs came to mind that tie in well with this reflection.

1. Cynthia Clawson’s Spirit Shine  (from her 1986 album Immortal.  iTunes link)

2. Matt Redman’s Shine  (from his 2006 album Beautiful News. iTunes link)

Click below to see the lyrics to both songs:

Spirit Shine, Cynthia Clawson

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God
Be merciful unto me, For I am undone
Feeling now this discontent
In the winter of my soul
In the darkness without my sun

Chorus [2X]
Spirit shine
Shine in the night
Let me reflect, Father of light
Conquer the dark inside my heart
Let me shine

Lord, I ask You to bring the peace
Dissolve the shadows with the light of God
Holy light of God

Lord Jesus Christ
Light my life a candle
To burn in the world that is dying for light
Light the path on which we walk
In the way that You have taught
Lead us on as we face the night

[Repeat Chorus 2x]

For the light shines in darkest night
And the dark cannot conquer it
We’ll be the sun, moon and stars, Spirit shine

(For the light shines, shines in the darkest night)
(Shine! And the dark cannot conquer it!)
(Spirit! Spirit! Shine! Shine the dark night! Shine!)
(Shine! Shine!)

***

Shine, Matt Redman

Lord we have seen the rising sun, awakening the early dawn,
And we´re rising up to give you praise.
Lord we have seen the stars and moon, see how they shine,
They shine for you,
And You´re calling us to do the same.
So we rise up with a song, and we rise up with a cry
And we´re giving you our lives.

We will shine like stars in the universe,
Holding out Your truth in the darkest place.
We´ll be living for Your glory,
Jesus we´ll be living for Your glory.
We will burn so bright with Your praise O God,
And declare Your light to this broken world.
We´ll be living for Your glory,
Jesus we´ll be living for Your glory.

Like the sun so radiantly
Sending light for all to see,
Let your holy church arise
Exploding into life,
Like a supernova´s light,
Set your holy church on fire;
We will shine.
© 2006 Sparrow

***

Phil 2:15-16 (NIV)  … become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life

Col 1:27 (NIV)  … the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Gal 2:20 (NIV)  I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

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