Betwixt and Between
Colorado has been in this weird in-between season. Colorado has left fall. The trees are bare. the time has changed. and while the warmth of the day still hints of fall, the darkness at
4:30pm brings you all too quickly back to the present reality. Yet Colorado hasn’t been fully received by winter either. There’s no fresh snow on the ground. No kids sledding. And no snow plows moving through the streets in the early morning darkness. It’s this tug of war where we can’t go back to the arms of what was, but we also haven’t been received by winter’s embrace either.
Recently, I read about the in-between stages of life, the now and not yet. Richard Rohr refers to it as the liminal space. Liminal is from the latin word limen, meaning threshold. That time in between what was and what’s next. You have gone out from one place or community and are waiting to be received by another.
I figure we’re all in a similar place. We’re in the final months of the year, begging for a semblance of a new start, but also probably a little leery of what’s waiting. It would be easy to rush through the last month of this year. To wish it all away and rush to 2021 in a flurry of half-assed gratitude for the hard year, stringing ribbons and bows behind us from all the early Christmas decorations, which truly did bring comfort and joy.
But as hard as it’s been- i don't think we should be anywhere other than right here.
I don't think I should be anywhere other than right here.
Richard Rohr says, “The liminal space is an inter-state and sometimes outer situation where we can begin to think and act in new ways. It is where we are betwixt and between, having left one room or stage of life but not yet entered the next. We usually enter liminal space when our former way of being is challenged or changed. It is a graced time, but often does not feel “graced” in any way…The very vulnerability and openness of liminal space allows room for something genuinely new to happen. We are empty and receptive—erased tablets waiting for new words. Liminal space is where we are most teachable, often because we are most humbled. “
Collectively, we are literally all in a liminal space. If you are alive in the midst of a global pandemic, welcome to the party. We are all in this germ-filled space together. I suppose the challenge is to not lose sight of each other in the process, even when the vulnerability of waiting to be received by something else truly feels excruciating.
Maybe the trick is to be received by each other.
But I think in order to do that- we have to let go of who we were, so we can find who we’re meant to be together. So we can move forward to the next space more compassionately.
Today- I read the most beautiful excerpt from an advent reading by Scott the Painter, speaking of the pain of growth. “It’s for love that you have been moved from what is known to what is unknown. It’s for love that you have been moved from your comfortable perch so you can be enlarged by a different perspective. It is for love that you have been broken open so a larger capacity of faith, hope, and love can be built inside you.”
Let me be clear, where we’re at isn’t fun. To clarify, LITERALLY NOTHING ABOUT THIS IS FUN. But if we’re brave and compassionate, I also think this is where we grow. It would be way easier to turn back to fall, to “the way things were.” But I don’t think that’s who we’re called to be either. And so while is feels unstable, discouraging, and upside down- stick with me in it.
Even if it’s just for my own sake- don’t go!
Because this is where transformation happens. <3
Richard Rohrs article: https://cac.org/between-two-worlds-2020-04-26/
Scott the Painter: https://www.instagram.com/p/CIa8phjp8cU/