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Becoming a "Thin Place" For Others Is Risky and Often Painful!

This thought came to me earlier this morning by way of a conversation with a gentleman from Kansas (yes, Dorothy), someone whom I have never met "in person," but now consider a brother by way of conversations first held on Facebook, then live on Zoom.

He finds himself in one of those tedious and unanticipated physical moments such as apparently happens with age. Yet, with such moments often come glorious insights as our pain, loss, deep inquiry, even anger, unveiling a mystical reality that invariably touches heaven.

The "God Wink" in my friend's moment was when in his darkest midnight, sleepless struggle with the "blues", his new nurse walked in to take blood and introduced herself as, Heaven!


No different than when, as a young 28 year-old new believer, I wrestled with the repeated prayers of a group of seniors in a prayer breakfast which I had been asked to lead. Each week I listened to these seasoned church goers recite scripture verses such as Matthew 18:19-20: "Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven."

We would stand in a circle each Friday morning as we closed out our prayer breakfast, taking prayer requests while "touching," at least physically, as we symbolically held hands. Meanwhile, our good brother Earl, for whom we had prayed for in this way multiple times, was dying of cancer.

After several Friday morning prayers, and while in an in-home planning meeting for an upcoming event, I had had it with the scripture thing!

I recall dismissing myself from the group, stepping into our small kitchen area, while they continued their planning. There, I struggled alone with God.

In a naive "God, what is this" kind've moment, which mind you was well before I had become a seasoned citizen of the church, I was like, "is this thing real or not!!"

The next day Earl's brother shared with me that in that "self same hour," if I use the KJV, Earl's nurse walked in. He asked if she was an angel or nurse, for he was ready to either go home or to heaven!"

It seems he had just had a visitation from God moments before her entry. As his brother shared, he had then rushed to the rest room where he "passed his cancerous mass" (avoiding the details) and was later found cancer free.

“Thin places” comes from a Celtic tradition called caol ait kweel awtch. This idea can simply be looked at as mountain tops or other physical places that the air is thin or hard to come by. Thin places really reflect a spiritual thinness as well. When we face trials, eternity becomes closer. The kingdom is more visible. But this is all about the perspective we choose to have."1

“A thin place is a place where the boundary between heaven and earth is especially thin. It’s a place where we can sense the divine more readily.”2

Now you know a little more of the "why" behind my thoughts about both religion and life's spiritual realities.

Just being transparent in my mid-70's!

2. Rev. Dr. Mark D. Roberts in Thin Places: A Biblical Investigation 

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