Experiencing A Very Thin Place

Experiencing A Very Thin Place


These last nine months have not been easy for us. As a family we have lost three more grandparents…a generation is no-longer with us. We have experienced pain, shock, longing, regret, loneliness and hope. We have encountered memories both happy and sad. We have celebrated their lives but ached because they are no longer here….. they are missing.


There are times when it seems alright but times when it’s not fair, times of peace and times of anger, of joy and then utter despair, times when our memories are full but then times of total emptiness, of numbness and then of pain, of a sense of closeness and then absence, times of overcoming and at others a feeling of incredible devastation, times when you start to see the dawn rise and others when the you are seemingly thrown into the ink black night. It feels like being orphaned, that some how we now have to be real grown ups!


It all seemed to come too quickly …and out of the blue. We realise this is all part of the grieving process; many people have experienced similar things over the ages. It’s not so much that time heals as that time gives perspective for the shock and other realities that we experience in our mourning. In our better moments we realise that this is true.


But in the midst of it all there is a reality of another side of life ….of the eternal… of the spiritual…. of the ‘other’ worldliness… of heaven and hell… of angelic beings….of a hope that is sure…of life and joy that cannot be understood.


In a post I wrote about Thin Places, I wrote:

“………..these [thin places] are defined as where the veil between heaven and earth is “thinnest” – where the supernatural and the natural mix….. where the world that is to come is found to be here…..where heaven touches earth….. where things unexplainable are curtained not in thick velvet, but see through silk……….”


The idea I was trying to get across was that these places were real …if mystical …and were places that we might be able to facilitate as well as experience ‘…where we could become a conduit …where heaven touches earth’.


Now I know this might sound strange, weird…. even mad, but during the process of both Jessica’s parents dying we have experienced this … ‘being able to be a conduit where heaven starts to touch earth’…. ‘Where there is a thin place and the veil between heaven and earth is like see through silk rather than thick velvet.’


Let me share about our experience with Jessica’s dad’s last days with us here:


We knew that Jim’s time in this life was nearing an end. In fact four people including Jim himself had had a sense of the actual day he would die or put a different way start a very different adventure!


During the two days before he died Jim had said a number of times that he sensed others in the room with us. He would ask us ‘who is that with us in the room…. ‘or ‘who’s standing behind me…’ or ‘who is that over there in the corner?’ It is important at this point to convey that Jim was not on any medication that would have caused this kind of stuff… in fact the medical staff were amazed at how little pain medication etc he needed, how little pain he was experiencing and how lucid and normal he was during these last hours considering the his condition.


But during those last days, especially his last hours, he was able to say the things he wanted to say, to express what he needed to and communicate his last feelings but all the time it seemed to be in the presence of others ….something angelic. It was like those waiting to welcome him into a new life and take him on the next part of his journey …to a new existence…a new reality … a new adventure were patiently waiting in the room for the things that needed to be communicated to be finished and when they were done they helped him slip easily into that next chapter.


Through the whole experience there was an unfathomable sense of peace and timing.


The Jim who had faithfully followed Jesus when he had lived here on earth now had an escort of angels to go and meet his Lord. Heaven had touched earth and taken one of their own to begin his greatest adventure!


Madness, sentimental slush ….as they say you had to be there!

Ian Rowlands