A Prayer in a Thin Place

Though we came to pray for St Madoc Centre, and though we certainly did that, it was not long before we, trustees drawn from denominations and free churches across Gower and Swansea, found ourselves being led deeper and deeper into a prayer for Gower and to God’s aching call to just be his people, without recourse to tribe or sect, and answer his call together, with simplicity, with integrity, with faith.

And Jesus said, ‘Bring them here to me.’ Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all ate and were filled…     (Matt 14)

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At the end of the day, Jesus withdraws to a thin place. He will do so again after the great feeding on the mountain. Later, he will walk free in faith on the wild sea. Because he can. The rock/church will try to walk out to him, and before the thinking kicks in, (s)he will indeed walk! But when comes the thinking, so too comes the fear. This is where the monsters are. This is not the land and it’s not my fishing boat!…Oh Peter. Don’t you know who I AM? Oh you of little faith!

But we are with the loaves now, as we pray, in this thin place, prayeful chapel on St Madoc cliff, prayerful, hopeful trustees of a place where crowds do come with aching need for Word, for Bread, for Fish. We pray for those who are here tonight and for those who will be here soon. We pray for signs. We pray that uncountably more may come and be abundantly blessed. We pray that God will take away the burden of financial debt, so restricting the work of this place, that the mountain of it may fall into the sea and so the staff and provision here may be released and increased, that God’s peace might flow on and from this cliff like rivers of life. We offer small amounts of what we think we have and ask for a miracle. Oh God, your will be done, your will be done…

And I can see the hands of the Lord. They are breaking the bread and the fishes. And there is noise and adrenalin pumping as baskets are taken and the sharing is made. But the breaking just goes on and on. And I see the sandaled feet of the sharers. They are running to give. And the arms of the hungry are stretched out and there is no end to them that I can see. Hands opened above desparate faces, aching to receive. They are here on the cliffs and they stretch out from the sea. And the Lord just keeps on breaking. And the baskets keep flowing…

Now I look into heaven and I have to ask, though to hear it scares me still even after all the breaking, am I broken enough yet? Can  I walk yet on the sea? Is my faith stronger than my mind, yet? Lord?

There is a fire alarm. We must go out into the cold-night wilderness as the sun goes down, just over there. Here on a tennis court, children are counted and cared about. They are safe here. There is such peace for them on this cliff.

Now, back into the chapel, drama subsided, a head teacher gives such thanks for this thin place and for untold blessings poured into the lives of children who cannot pay to be here, who know three streets and a corner shop and who might eat or sleep between school and school, or might not…

And the hands of the Lord keep on breaking, bread and fish, fish and bread, and baskets fill, and sandals run, and arms stretch from the sea, and we pray…and we pray…ABBA! YOUR WILL BE DONE!



Fr Tim


~ by Fr Tim Ardouin on January 12, 2016.

2 Responses to “A Prayer in a Thin Place”

  1. So enjoyed this meditation

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