There is a Celtic saying that “heaven and earth are only three feet apart, but in the thin places that distance is even smaller.” A “thin place” is where, for a brief time, the separation between heaven and earth dissolves and we are able to glimpse the existence of a world that is beyond what we know through our five senses. A “thin place” is exactly where my late husband and I found ourselves the very first time we experienced the Greenbelt Festival in England … and each the many times we returned. From the outset, we longed (as did others) for a similar festival in the United States. Over the last 20-odd years, many of us tried to make it happen, but for lots of complex reasons, it just didn’t … until now.
I’m positively euphoric about the Wild Goose Festival because …
- … I am tired. I am tired of political and theological polarization; of fear and anger and hatred; of “us” and “them;” of having the same conversations over and over but getting nowhere; of people being marginalized (or worse, condemned) simply for being who they truly are or saying what they truly think; of rigidity and dogma and people’s seeming unwillingness to change or sincerely consider another point of view. And I am tired of the impact all this “infighting” has on the weakest among us: the oppressed, exploited, suffering and broken brothers and sisters of our world.
- … I am filled with hope. As part of the team that is helping put this festival together, I am walking with people who challenge and inspire me; people who embrace spirited but respectful debate and differences of opinion about all aspects of life; people who work tirelessly on behalf of the subjugated and the poor; people who live and share the gospel of Grace and will be satisfied with nothing short of the Kingdom of God being manifest on earth, as it is in heaven; people who seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God; people who yearn to create a place of belonging – a place where, despite our differences – we are safe, God’s grace is palpable, and the wind of the Wild Goose blows freely among us; people who help me believe that we really can find a way to heal our fractured world.
- … I love beauty. The arts are not only beautiful, they communicate the truth of God in ways that nothing else can and they help us find common ground in uncommon places.
- … I believe change truly can – and does – happen. I believe crazy, magical, mysterious, miraculous, phenomenal, holy stuff happens in the thin places when, for a few shining moments, the veil between this world and the next parts … and we can sense that heaven on earth might actually be possible.