I’ve been thinking lately about liminal moments. Liminal is one of my new favorite words which refers to threshold experiences. If you can imagine yourself standing on the threshold of a doorway, where you are neither outside the house nor inside the house, you have an image for what it means to be in a liminal moment. It is that space where your life is no longer what it used to be but before you quite know what it will be in the future. My husband is doing Transitional ministry these days with the Battle Creek church and is trying to get them to embrace the liminal space they are in. They are no longer the church they were with their previous pastor, but not yet who they will be with their next pastor.
As I have been talking with Mike about his transitional ministry, it has occurred to me that we are all in a liminal moment these days because of the Pandemic. The Pandemic has definitely disrupted our lives. We know, ever so clearly, that life is not what it use to be. At the same time, it’s unclear what life will be in the future. We have been changed, and we are still being changed in this liminal time. I think there is some real value in embracing this liminal time and thinking carefully about what’s different and maybe better because of the restrictions we have been enduring.
For instance… this liminal time has:
Renewed my interest in cooking and baking. We had developed a habit of eating out that was not so healthy for us. We eat better these days at home.
It has reminded me I can do just fine with less. Shopping for me was an expensive past time I can live happily with less of. I have developed and renewed other hobbies that are more creative and renewing.
Liminal time as helped me to embrace my home. I live and work at home right now and have really nested in my house in this time. It has become a happy place for me.
It has reminded me of how important my family is to me and that our communications are central to our relationships. It’s not that I don’t long to hug my children or my parents, but frequent conversations help me stay close. I keep reminding myself that people in the 1800s managed with infrequent letters!
Finally this liminal time has reminded me that it is the presence of God that sustains me more than meetings or gatherings or even worship in the church – though I miss these things. It is God who is my strength.
I believe we will move out of this weird world at some point this year. We will cross the threshold and find ourselves in a new normal in the future. There are some things, however, that I have learned or relearned in this liminal time that I don’t want to lose moving forward. How about you? What are you learning in this time?
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
Is. 43: 19
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