Tuesday, February 26, 2013

thin places

Last Friday morning, I told Daniel that he could either do his regular homeschooling assignments or he could climb in bed, sit next to me, and watch a movie. He deliberated for three long seconds and chose the latter.

We watched The Way, a beautiful movie by Emilio Estevez and his father, Martin Sheen. It is a story of a pilgrimage, a journey, a transformation. It is a story of friendship, parenthood, risk-taking, love, and death. It is a story of life itself.

I confess that I was a little nervous about my movie choice. After all, Daniel is 16 years old. He likes rap music and playing tennis, cheeseburgers and gatorade, professional wrestling and The Jersey Shore. What is he going to think of a movie about a few people walking an ancient pilgrimage across the northern coast of Spain? Will he care enough to put down his iphone and actually watch or will he bail out twenty minutes in and say he'd rather watch his biology video after all?

Before we watched the movie, I talked to Daniel about the concept of "thin places." Those places in the world where you feel like you are closer to God, to eternity, to that which is unseen but deeply known. Those moments when you know that you are not alone, that you are loved, and that, indeed, all shall be well. Those places and those times when you know that you know that you know that you are exactly where you need to be, and your body and soul quiver with recognition of the eternal, right there with you, within you, around you, next to you. Well, at least that what it feels like to me.

While we watched the movie, there was no texting, facebooking, or instagramming. No requests for bathroom or popcorn breaks. No rolled eyes. No sarcastic remarks. Just this Momma and her sweet son watching a movie on a Friday morning in February.

At the conclusion of one of the most poignant scenes in the film, he said, "That is definitely a thin place."
I smiled and thought - with a soul-shifting tremor - "Right here, right now, this bed of mine is a thin place."


Caneel said...

I found this through Glennon's post on Momastery. What a beautiful memory you captured. I pray all the best for you and your health during this journey of yours!

Michele @ The Hills Are Alive...... said...

I too have come over from Glennons post on Momastery. I love this concept of "thin places" and this time you had with your son. Precious moments. You write so beautifully. Is there a way to follow your blog? Prayers for your health and wellbeing. Keep writing and keep finding those "thin places" x

GailNHB said...

Thank you so much for coming over here and checking out my blog. Glennon blew me away with her generous post at Momastery.

As for following, I confess to not being sure how to follow the blog. How lame is that? perhaps if you click on my profile on the main page, there is a link there. I should definitely find that out.

Again, thanks for the love and support, my friends. Thank you very much.

Laura Peterson said...

I'm joining the crowd hoping over from Glennon's post and Gail, your post is beautiful! Simply, purely, utterly beautiful. My sons are 4 and 8 ( and The Way is in my queue at netflix) and I pray that I can share moments like yours when they are 16. What a blessing. Blessings to you and I'm thrilled to find another soulful writer.

Lucinda said...

I really love that movie too, Gail. After watching it by myself one very rare evening alone, I sat and watched it the next day with my husband and our six year old son. I wasn't sure if the content was too adult for Nathan, but he was riveted by the film's opening scene and begged to be allowed to watch the whole thing with us. He has since asked to see it two or three other times, and has watched the whole thing, fascinated, each time. I have loved his attention to this movie that I find so moving and transformative. Finally, I asked him - Nate, what do you like so much about The Way? He responded, "Mom, I am just REALLY INTO their backpacks." :)

I hope his enthusiasm made you smile. God bless you with healing and relief from pain and fear today.

Lucinda (also a visitor from Momastery)

Nancy said...

Beautiful. It's kind of amazing to feel like you are part of someone else's thin space, just by reading about it. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

I also found my way here via momastery and it looks like folks can subscribe to your blog via a link at the very bottom of the main page. You have to be on the main page (not viewing an individual post) and there is a link underneath your profile that says "subscribe to posts."

Halfsicilian said...

Absolutely beautiful Gail. You captured a moment here that is really special. You are a WRITER as Glennon said. I will be following your journey and praying for your sweet family as well.
Love and peace and health,

Nomads By Nature said...

I found you through Momastery and have fallen in love with you and your family. This post is an inspiration to me. I have an 11 year old son as well as a 17 year old daughter, but it is my son that I struggle the most to connect with. I yearn for a way to make our bond stronger, despite all the distractions, and it is your description of Thin Places that has given me hope. You are a wonderful writer and I look forward to gleaning more from your insights on life and faith. Please know that your fight is being held up in prayer from our little corner of the world in Ankara, Turkey.

Jenny said...

As many others here, I found you through Glennon's blog post yesterday. Wow. Your writing is what writing was created for. It is hitting me at the core and giving me goosebumps. I had a "thin moment"', or actually day yesterday. Love this. And I am going to love following your blog and life.

Momobug said...

Beautiful! Love, from Ann, another Monkee <3 :-)

Kate S said...

love this, Gail :)

Ruth said...

Excellent choice for both of you.

Ruth said...

PS to follow your blog underneath your bio is a little thing with (Atom) Click on atom and it gives you a choice of how to follow. I put your post next to Momastery since she introduced me to you.

GailNHB said...

Lucinda, I love the story about your son and his fascination with their backpacks. Hey, whatever gets him hooked to the film is good; I bet the rest of the movie's messages are getting thru along with the fancy gear.

Laura and Nomads by Nature, I found that the best way to stay close to my son in his earlier years was to just follow his lead. He has always loved sports, so I learned as much as I could about the sports he loved and talked to him about them. Then we always had a common place. I still scratch his back in the mornings sometimes - and he talks a lot then. Ongoing connection with our kids is possible; I believe that with all my heart.

Thank you all for your prayers and support and your presence here with me.

I wish us all thin moments with loved ones, thin moments with strangers, and thin moments all by ourselves.