Jessica McGuire’s Thin Place: Sacred in the Ordinary

Jan 27, 2011Archive

Jessica’s story illustrates how hard places can become thin places where God meets us.  Jessica lives near Washing D.C. with her husband and four children. You can find more of her thoughtful writing and beautiful pictures on her blog, Jezamama. (If you would like to share your Thin Place Story, visit this page for info.)


Standing in the doorway watching my friend of two decades go, my heart sinks as words spoken hover over the foyer. These last sentences were the fracturing of a future; a thin place grew between the cracks. I shut the door blocking the light, closing the past and the dreams behind her.

It was during this ending, before the writing took form that the crushing of heart and tearing of flesh had its way. I lay down on my bed and wept. A wound that was harsh and cruel. There were days when all I could do was breath. I began to understand what it would be like to live life in the shadows. “Hide me in the shadow of your wings.” (Psalm 17:8 NLT) All that I had believed, defined and cherished about God and the Body of Christ was ruined. It was the betrayal of a dream, the dream of authentic community.

Months before God had asked what I was willing to surrender. In that thick place He found me, a place overflowing with voices and faces. My compliant, loyal heart was towing the line of Christian ministry and friendship. I was unwavering. I did not openly question. Seeking their approval and applause my life had become an idol to self and church. There was no place for God to speak. I mistook the words of my friends for His.

At the beginning of the fracturing, the thinnest place my heart has ever walked, my head could barely lift above the grief. I raised my angry voice to the God of heaven. Those pit pushers who had called themselves my friends; they mocked my pain, twisted my words and used my private struggles against me. They turned their faces from me. They turned their faces from the truth: our foundation had been built on idols, not authentic fellowship.

My isolation grew as the phone stopped ringing and the angry letters stopped coming. The silence they intended as my punishment God used for my transformation. The weight of surrendering to God seemed too much to bear. The Divine whispers beckoned me to a deeper place of faith. This thin place that grew between the relationship fractures is the place God used to call me to himself.

I lost it all: friends, church, and a future. All the ways I sought to find worth and live a life of value were removed. From this thin place God began to rebuild my life upon His truth. I have found new ways of seeing that are defined by God, not man. He took a heart willing to follow Him anywhere, and taught me how to find Him everywhere. Through the camera lens and dirt on my knees I capture the awe of sleeping bees. Through the words on screen and page I ask the questions that were never asked of me. Daily I am learning how to find the Sacred in the Ordinary.