Liminality is a term that has been running through my mind often in this season.

Liminal, comes from the Latin word ‘limen’ which means threshold.  Liminal space is that in-between space where you’ve left something “old” and familiar but haven’t quite entered the “new” and unfamiliar space yet.  

Liminal spaces can be scary, but they can also be rich opportunities for spiritual growth.  In my work as a hospice chaplain, I have spent a lot of time walking with people in liminal spaces.  Navigating the space between life and death can be fraught with grief, but more often than not, it is full of opportunities and reminders to live in the present moment. 

This COVID-19 pandemic has provided endless reminders to live in the present.  So many of our questions about the future and what our post-pandemic lives will look like, simply can’t be answered. When will our church reopen?  Will we be able to sing in choirs soon?  Will there ever be a vaccine?  When can we stop wearing these masks?  When can I visit my family in a nursing home?…

 This season has also brought many changes in my life.  I’ve answered a call to a new ministry position which has involved leaving a job I’ve done for years, relocating, and lots of big decisions for my family. This transition, while exciting, has plunged me into liminal space.  I’m not quite sure what normal looks like yet and at times I find myself looking longingly to the familiarity of the past.  

Whether or not you’re dealing with transitions like career changes or relocation, we are all living in liminal space these days.  We remember what our lives were like in February and early March and we long for our post-pandemic futures.  Yet here we are, living in the in-between space.  

Matthew 6:34 is a verse that I have read often, but the Message translation of this familiar verse has been speaking to me in this liminal season. “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.  God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”

I won’t say I haven’t gotten “worked up” about the future, but I do know that God is present and at work in this time.  Hard things are happening and will continue to happen, but this verse reminds me that it is enough to give my attention to the here and now.   

As we continue to travel through liminal space that is full of unanswered questions, may we have eyes to see what God is doing, trusting that with God’s help, we can face whatever may come. Amen.

Faith Fitzgerald is Associate in Spiritual Care at Masonic Villages in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania.