This from Eleanor:
I don’t have a picture to share, just a memory of a time when God’s presence felt so close that it took my breath away and seemed, for a moment, to hold time still. The picture of the father and son in Baghdad watching the snow brought the memory to mind.
I was in the Kuwaiti desert outside Kuwait City in March and April of 2003, one of thousands of soldiers waiting to go into Iraq. One morning, just after sunrise, I was out walking the area where we would be parking our vehicles as they arrived from the port later that day. I was not in a pensive mood, I was not thinking about God, just where to park the HMMWVs (Hummers). It felt like there was no wind, yet, the sand, which is like talcum powder, began to move around my feet. It slowly swirled up and around. As far as I could see the dust hovered about waist high. It wasn’t still, but seemed to be alive, swirling and moving gently, but I couldn’t feel it moving. In a camp with thousands of soldiers beginning their day, I no longer heard a sound. As I turned around, holding my hands out at my sides, just above the dust, a scripture from Genesis came into my mind. “The Spirit of God was hovering over the waters” Gen 1: 2. My breath was caught up in me and I was suddenly delighted and filled with peace. The awesome, silent presence of my God was hovering all around me.
The desert is a thin place.
Not too long ago I had the chance to drive from Las Vegas to Los Angeles. Some friends from the west coast discouraged me from driving – all you are going to see is desert, they said.
Ahh, said I, that is what I want to see. For those of us who have lived in the northeast most of our lives deserts are somewhat rare. I wanted to see one. It took my breath away as much as standing before a great mountain – God also digs mountains. Deserts are thin places indeed. Thanks Eleanor.