The Space Between


The weak tea in a Styrofoam cup accompanied by two signature Delta airline ginger cookies tasted like a feast. I was sitting on a plane en route to Boston after a short layover in the Atlanta airport. We had boarded at 6:40 in the evening and at 9:30 we were still sitting on a plane that had lost its antiseptic smell long before and was now beginning to reek of dirty socks.

Anticipating smooth transitions and a quick flight I had not changed from my business grey dress and high shoes; shoes that magically transformed me from short to tall, demanding only a blister and achey feet as payment.

Everyone felt the tension when the flight attendant first announced that we would be delaying take-off. He “hoped we’d understand that it was not safe to travel in thunder and lightning”. 

We understood.

A couple of minutes after his announcement, rain of Noah’s kind began pouring down. The tiny oval-shaped window gave a limited view but it was enough to see pelting rain and lightning. The thunder was loud and ominous, adding its stamp of validity to the words of the flight attendant.

And we were enclosed in the space between. There was no where we could go and nothing we could do. We weren’t in the middle. In the middle we at least would have known we were going someplace. We were in the space between.  I was cold and achy and I was in the space between.

The spaces between. Spaces of insecurity and restlessness; spaces of tension and anxiety; spaces where we want to know the answers. Spaces where we ache from shoes too tall or circumstances too big.

The resigned, the practical, the matter of fact would tell me “There is nothing you can do, you just have to wait it out.” And I know this is sound advice – to a point.

But perhaps in the space between I am provided with the best possible context for praying.  Prayer for restlessness to be replaced with rest, tension with peace, anger with calm.

A crowded plane of people growing increasingly perturbed and anxious set the stage for this space between. My heart was the actor, my words a prayer. A prayer that in this space between I would remember there is One whose authority is over all space and time. And in remembering, rest.

23 thoughts on “The Space Between

  1. The space between is to me, sometimes, a great metaphor for the prayers or groanings that the Holy Spirit intercedes with on our behalf. I often think I know exactly what I want to happen in between “this” and “that”, when, in the now, I probably have absolutely no heavenly idea what should truly happen. Thank God, that He sends his Spirit to intercede on my behalf.


  2. Thanks, this is wonderful, I’m in the space between with a big situation, and needing to just depend on God to work through some difficult issues with friends and colleagues.


  3. I am stuck in that space between and it has been so long now that it gets me down, it is good to have a reminder that we all get stuck there sometimes and we should just leave it to Him to get us out ( and pray! makes you feel so much better!)


    1. I hear you! It’s so easy to sink into a despondent state in those places between. It’s one thing when it’s a blog illustration and another thing in real life. Thank you for reading and sharing.


  4. Thanks Marilyn. I believe I have experienced just what you’ve written about today. The “spaces between” have not been empty for me lately. Relying entirely upon His presence gives me PEACE and I know that I am not alone.


  5. We are very much in the “space between” – packing to move and we haven’t left “here” yet. It will be awhile until we arrive “there”. One of my so helpful packers this morning asked me how many times we have moved. I couldn’t tell her without sitting and recounting all the places I have made a home. I feel the pain of roots being pulled up, and wonder if I am capable of putting down roots yet again. This morning I read “The Lord has been our dwelling place…” from Psalm 90 and then “Those who dwell in the secret place of the Most High will abide under the Shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91 In this world we are all pilgrims – we just don’t always realize it. Our only permanent resting place is in the Lord. Thanks, Marilyn. I’m sorry it was such a hard trip – I hope the next one is better!


    1. Oh you are so much in that space between mom! I can’t wait to come and see you in between. I love the words you read, and I remember well that sinking feeling of wondering if it’s possible to create yet another home. Thinking of you.


  6. Marilyn–I loved this:”shoes that magically transformed me from short to tall, demanding only a blister and ache as payment.”

    There’s a book called “Standing in the Spaces” by Philip Bromberg, famous in psychoanalytic circles. In analysis, the spaces are where all the potential is. It’s where you wait and see what emerges. It’s hard to stay there for long but it’s worth the effort. It was in the spaces that I allowed myself to love and be loved.


    1. I love the sound of this – that spaces are where all the potential is. Completely different way of looking at the space between. I thank you so much for continually bringing up ideas and stretching me through our online comments and discussions.


  7. When things begin to irritate and get on one’s nerves it is a good time to remember there is a reason for everything, a reason we may not know but a good reason nonetheless. Make use of the moments for maybe you are required to do something very important where you are. God works in mysterious ways and you my friend have a way of connecting your thoughts in a most wondrous manner.
    I have to put in a few hours of travel to get anywhere, even when I reach Bombay I have to spend 4-5 hours on the road to get home. Its been a while I have been using the travel time to pray.
    What do you know, I am BACK!


    1. Someday I hope to be in the space between with you Pari! It’s true – the amount of traveling you do has you in that space many times more than the average person. I love your phrase “Make use of the moments.”


  8. “Be still and know that I am God.” Those words ring in my ear so many times, especially when tension and turmoil swirl around me. And when I can tune out the noise around me and focus on those words and the One who said them, then everything does eventually work its way to what it was supposed to be.

    Hope the blister isn’t too bad. I’m also the one who needs the “boost” from the heels, but I don’t go more than 3 or 4 inches, because I look ridiculous standing – let alone walking/teetering – on them, and I have a fear of heights :-)
    Happy Monday,


    1. I love that verse and what a good reminder. And yes – tuning out the noise is exactly what I need in the space between.
      On the shoes…they were 31/2 inch wedges so I did really well all day – and then suddenly I was so done. So done! So glad you came by.


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