“Halfway down the stairs is a stair where I sit
There isn’t any other stair quite like it
I’m not at the bottom, I’m not at the top
So this is the stair where I always stop”
‘Halfway up the Stairs’ is the title of a conference that I attended recently. The event was organised by a group who call themselves ‘Continuing the Journey’ – a temporary community of people who work and minister on the overlapping edges of society and church, theology and psychology – edges that sometimes complement, and sometimes clash.
In-between spaces can be extremely uncomfortable – times of uncertainty, for example, when we need to leave one thing behind but are not sure what the next step might be, or instances when we struggle to arrive at a shared understanding and find common ground. Often there is a need to wait and tolerate uncertainty until the way becomes clear. Sometimes we find ourselves challenged to learn from others and allow our preconceptions to dissolve so that new insights can emerge.
Yet the in-between places can also be opportunities for rest and refreshment – times when we can connect with the child within, and rediscover our ability to rest, to play, to wonder and to just ‘be’.
These times can be also be moments, or seasons, when we are most open to hearing God speaking to us, or perceiving God’s presence in our lives. Like Jacob in the wilderness (Genesis 28: 10-22), we might find ourselves waking up in a new way to the wonderful awareness that God is with us always, in the depths, in the heights, and in the places in between.
“Surely God is in this place and I was not aware of it.” Gen. 28:16
Photo taken by Suzanne Chapman and available on freelyphotos.com