Thresholds. We cross them countless times a day both physically and metaphorically, usually without even being aware that we are doing so. Yet, every threshold has possibility to it and an invitation to grow hope in our lives. Christine Valters Paintner writes in The Soul’s Slow Ripening: “Thresholds are the space between, when we move from one time to another, as in the threshold of dawn to day or of dusk to dark; one space to another as in times of inner or outer journeying or pilgrimage; and one of awareness to another, as in times when our old structures start to fall away and we begin to build something new.”

When we were children, we learned to stop, look, and listen when we crossed the street. This is helpful wisdom for growing hope. When we reach the thresholds and crossroads of our lives, we can stop to look around and then “listen to” where we are, who we are, and who God is with us. This opens us up to the possibility of new visions and hope that we otherwise might miss.


Stand at the crossroads, and look,

    and ask for the ancient paths,

where the good way lies; and walk in it,

    and find rest for your souls. 

Jeremiah 6:16


  • Spend some time reflecting on the thresholds quote and the scripture from Jeremiah. Are there any words or ideas that especially resonate with you or challenge you?
  • What are the time thresholds of your day? The quote mentions some, but others could include: moving from sleep to being awake and vice versa, work to leisure, alone to community.

  • What are the space thresholds of your day? These are physical thresholds but they also might include the different roles you have in any given day.
  • What are the internal thresholds of your day? For example, notice when you cross from peace to agitation or from confusion to clarity.
  • Pause and pay attention to your thresholds as you cross them daily. Are there any hopeful possibilities they hold for you?


God, our Solace,

You support and console us.

The disheartened you encourage.

The depressed you hold close.

The displaced you bring home.

The disregarded you give esteem.

The disabled you offer support.

The disturbed you extend peace.

The disgruntled you cheer up.

The disillusioned you enlighten.

The disappointed you reassure. Amen. 

Fragments of Your Ancient Name, Joyce Rupp