IMG_1086Helen and Kelly are my 3:00 o’clock in the morning friends. I know if I called them any time day or night and said, “I need your help,” they would say, “I’m on my way.”

Last week they were the ones in need of emotional support. Helen’s son, who is a very smart man, made an incredibly stupid decision that landed him in prison. Twenty years ago, Kelly co-signed a huge business loan with the man who is now her ex-husband. He filed for bankruptcy and now the bank is coming after her to collect.

I’m an expert at finding the upside in almost any circumstance, but right now it isn’t possible to see how anything good will ever come out of either situation. Since there are no apparent solutions, I suggested we take an afternoon and go to Silver Falls State Park. The park is in the middle of an old-growth forest. There is a seven-mile trail that passes by ten waterfalls. There is also a little snack bar that makes amazing sandwiches.

As we were walking along a path under a canopy of mammoth trees, Helen said, “This was a great idea. This is a thin place. It’s like the ocean to me.”

I asked, “What do you mean by thin?”

When she said, “It’s a place where the distance between me and God is thin,” I knew exactly what she meant.

My thin place is in the mountains beside a stream. Kelly practices Yoga. Her thin place is a quiet space where she sits crossed-legged and meditates.

After spending the afternoon together, I decided our friendship is also a thin place. When someone loves us enough to accept us and whatever is happening in our lives without judgement or criticism, we are truly blessed.

Today I hope you can find a place where the space between you and God is thin. You might find it in a physical location. You might find it with a friend. And if it’s possible to Silcombine both, I think you will discover that the burden you are carrying will feel a little lighter and the ache in your heart will be a little less painful.