Friday, December 1, 2017

Thin Places - Writing with Spiritual Impact Part 1

by Elva Cobb Martin

Iona, Scotland, place of early Christian prayer
My favorite legal thriller author, Robert Whitlow, really snagged my interest in a new term to me, "thin places," in his book Water's Edge. He brought this spiritual principle in by having the heroine describe the hero's deceased, godly, father's law office. The hero Tom had just told the heroine Rose that even though he came to clean out his father's office, he'd actually found himself reading the Bible at his father's old desk more than doing the clean up. 

The heroine glanced around the room,then up at the ceiling and said, "That's because this is a thin place. It's what the ancients called a place where there's less separation between heaven and earth. It allows easier communion between the Lord and His people."

Then she went on to ask if he had heard of Iona or Lindisfarne which are known as thin places in Scotland and northern England where the early Christians established places of prayer and worship.

That prompted me to do some research not only Googling those two famous places people visit every year, but looking in the Bible as well.

Two "thin places" in the Bible that came quickly to my mind were Jacob's dream of the ladder between heaven and earth (Genesis 28:11-22) and New Testament Lydia's place in Philippi Paul discovered down by the river where "prayer was wont to be made." (Acts 16:13)

As Christian writers I believe the best spiritual arcs we can hope to create in our novels will be inspired by time spent in our personal spiritual thin place, our prayer closets. Do you have a "thin place" of your own where you've prayed and worshiped God so regularly, there's less separation between heaven and earth?

In Part 2 I will share something astounding I uncovered in this research into "thin places" that has to do with Jacob's experience and the stone he slept on and anointed with oil.

Thanks for stopping by. Do you know of a special thin place where you feel closer to heaven and inspiration? Please leave a comment, if so, and share this on your social media by clicking on the small icons below.

Elva Cobb Martin

Elva Cobb Martin is president of the South Carolina Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers (2014-2017). She is a former school teacher and a graduate of Anderson University and Erskine College. She has two inspirational novels contracted with Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. Summer of Deception, a contemporary romantic suspense, and an historical romance, In a Pirate’s Debt. Both have spent time on Amazon’s 100 Best Sellers List for Women’s Religious Fiction. Decision, Charisma, and Home Life have carried Elva's articles. Jim Hart of Hartline Literary represents her. She and her husband Dwayne are semi-retired ministers. A mother and grandmother, Elva lives in Anderson, South Carolina. Connect with her on her web site, her blog, on Twitter; Facebook;  and Pinterest

Link to her romance novels and non-fiction works on Amazon: