Every now and then God allows me to experience what can only be described as a “thin place”. This is a moment where the space between heaven and earth is so thin that you can’t tell in which realm you are actually standing.
It first happened in 2002. My Liberian friend James had come to America to raise money for the churches he had planted there. He left his wife and 7 kids behind. While staying with us, Civil War broke out in Liberia. He had no way to contact his wife and kids. He got word of the war and turned on the news. I watched as he identified the bodies of each of the pastors of his own church plants being dragged to the embassy.
His reaction to this devastation changed my life forever. He jumped up and declared “Satan will not have the victory! Let’s praise the Lord together!” As we praised the Lord together I experienced a thin place. I knew then that prayer and praise were just as violent as they were beautiful. I learned that praise declares war on all things that war against God. Thin place.
Again I experienced heaven and earth intersect while watching my Grandma enter heaven while holding my baby who had just come from there. My 95 year old Grandma was in her last hours after having had a stroke. Clara was only 6 months old but had already spent much of her life in the hospital. I never told my Grandma that anything was wrong with Clara, fearing that my Grandma was too fragile to handle what we knew.
Yet there they both were. Both fragile. Both with holes in their heart. Both of them asleep with their mouths wide open on Grams hospital bed. Clara’s tiny pink hand held Grams large purple hand. Time and place stood still as I watched them sleep holding each other. They had so much in common, yet their lives barely intersected. One had just come from heaven. The other was on the way there. For a brief 6 months they met on earth. Thin place.
My next thin place was while I was out on outreach at the School of Power and Love last April. I found myself in a Wendy’s restaurant with a sweet German family. They had never been to Wendy’s before so I told them I would be honored to buy them their first Frosty. When I got back to the table they were gone. I found them sitting with a local Amish family and another friend from Jamaica. The Amish family, the German family, and my Jamaican friend were taking turns praying over each other! Only God could have orchestrated “every tribe and tongue” praying together in a fast food restaurant! Thin place.
Last week in church I watched as children responded to Jesus and came down and knelt at the alter. There were only 2 children in the service and they BOTH responded. The Kingdom of Heaven belongs to “such as these”. For a minute I could have sworn heaven touched earth. Thin place.