I learned about “thin places” when a pastor explained that it’s where the veil between heaven and earth becomes so thin you can feel God’s closeness in a new way. The pastor’s thin place was a circle of enormous redwood trees.
I’ve been on mountain tops and in lush valleys. Near quiet lakes and places so pristine that I wondered if anyone had set foot there before.
But I wouldn’t say I experienced being in a thin place. Maybe I’m too earthy to feel much heavenly closeness.
Then I remembered a tiny room in an old trailer home we lived in decades ago. We’d brought our premature daughter home in the middle of a very cold winter. We had to keep our baby warm and feed her 3 ounces of milk every ninety minutes.
After one early morning feeding, I was holding her, rubbing her tiny back as she writhed in pain trying to digest the small amount. Tears slid down my cheeks as I wondered why it had be so hard for her. I rocked her and gazed out into the dark night. I noticed a light on the river—probably a barge heading towards Portland. But it didn’t move. That was strange since the Columbia River moved swiftly.
I rocked back and forth and watched the light—it never wavered. It was steady and certain—so unlike how I felt about motherhood. I rocked and rocked and the light still shone. I didn’t become instantly confident about motherhood, but for some reason on a dark night, a bright light reminded me I wasn’t alone.
Now, as I think about thin places, that’s where I was that night. It wasn’t like I was seeking God, I hadn’t been to a church in years. But just because I felt far away from God didn’t mean God was far away from me.
And on a night that I felt woefully inadequate, the veil between heaven and earth thinned enough for me to know that not only was I not alone, heaven was closer than I knew and I had nothing to fear.
As many celebrate Christ’s Resurrection, it reminds us of another veil that was torn—the one that separated us from God. We have nothing to fear when we have Christ—and in a world of bad news, that is the Good News.