Ellen Staley’s Thin Place: With Me Always


Ellen’s Thin Place reminds us that God can minister to us in unusual ways.


Loneliness consumes hope, strips away faith and empties my soul. Loneliness says God is not here or I would feel Him, hear His voice when I cry out. But loneliness lies.

For the past 10 months, I have held onto the truth of God’s presence, a truth that proves I am not alone and fortifies my resolve to work through the loneliness, loneliness that hit hard three months after Jesus took my husband home. But it’s in the depths of loneliness that I remember.

Deep blue waters of the Colorado River mirror the sky. My feet brush through wind carved ridges on the sand dune, gusts whipping enough grains to fill my tracks by night. Twenty feet above the large cove, I pause and stare. Barren desert and rugged mountains ring the dam created lake, the wide expanses testifying to the glory of the Creator. But I watch the water. Waiting.

The high lake level covers the beach and reveals the rippled bottom running almost thirty feet out before the deeper hued water obscures the view. My gaze sweeps up and down the water covered shore, seeking, searching. Waiting.

I wait for evidence of water borne life.

My mistaken expectation shakes me like a leaf.

I am searching the lake as I had the bay in Alaska only two months before, my efforts rewarded with sightings of sea lions, otters, and whales. With life. Teaming life.

But this is desert water. My disappointment is palpable. I pierce the empty shallows and murmur, “Not even any fish down there.”

My voiced thought barely clears my mouth before movement draws my eye. Just beyond where I gaze, in the azure waters, a large fish hangs midair before submerging with a slight splash.

Nineteen years watching these waters and never have I witnessed a fish breach.  

A laugh escapes and I feel so foolish. “Gotcha,” is all I say. But knowledge of His presence fills me, teases me, that I should think I was alone or unheard.

The memory fades.

My sorrow now recedes as I trump loneliness with truth, the proof of His presence, His care and concern. Gratitude swells my heart and peace comforts me.

The Creator of all tickled a fish and proved He is with me. Always.

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