On January 28, 1986, the US Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart seventy-three seconds after takeoff. In a speech of comfort to the nation, President Reagan quoted from the poem “High Flight” in which John Gillespie Magee, a World War II pilot, had written of “the high untrespassed sanctity of space” and the sense of putting out his hand to touch “the face of God.” 

Although we can’t literally touch God’s face, we sometimes experience a stunning sunset or a place of meditation in nature that gives us an overwhelming sense that He’s near. Some people call these moments “thin places.” The barrier…