I’ve learned a new word this week: liminal, a transitional space. It is a place where you hit the boundary of life as well as the threshold of what is next.
My Mom is in that place. It is an odd place to pause, wobbling between what has been normal independence to a place where the unbridled shaking of hands prevent the coordination of straw to lips and the once easy task of sipping and swallowing. It is a place of not knowing. I feel it too; I’m on shifting ground from daughter to one who must answer the door when death knocks. We are in God’s waiting room.
Richard Rohr calls this place “the familiar to the completely unknown.” Rohr goes onto say “there alone is our old world left behind, while we are not sure of the new existence. It’s the realm where God can best get at us because our false certitudes are finally out of the way. This is a sacred place where the old world is able to fall apart, and the bigger world is revealed. If we don’t encounter liminal space in our lives, we start idealizing normalcy.”
The Church is experiencing liminal times. The Church is trying to move from business as usual into sacred places where God transforms. God is trying to move us away from a system of normalcy that celebrates power and prestige. God is “rearranging the deck chairs” or opening new vistas, inviting us into sacred spaces to an appointment with the divine who makes all things new.
The cycle of death to new life, from sadness to joy—may we all be open to what will be revealed.