He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10, NIV)
I walked into the sanctuary. It was empty. No music. No people. No noise what so ever. The only light in the room was that which was peeking through the stained glass windows.
I walked down the aisle, taking in the stillness and searching for the right pew to claim as mine. There were so many to choose from. Any would do. They were all the same. Yet, I felt called to one.
I continued my search, tracing the tops of the pews on the ends with my fingertips till I landed on a pew three rows from the back. And there I sat for hours, praying and being still. My dad had a disease that he did nothing to get. I wanted answers. “This kind of thing,” I reasoned with myself, “doesn’t happen to people like us.”
The stillness and quiet of an empty church has always called to me. It probably started as a kid when I would accompany my NaNa and PaPa on Saturday mornings to our church. They were (and still are) the janitors. It was their Saturday recital to go up and spend half the day cleaning the church.
Much later in life I realized how important these days were for my grandparents. Not because of the time they spent with each other, but with the time spent between them and God.
When Dad was sick from prostate cancer, struggling not only with his disease but also for his life, I would often seek refuge in many an empty, quiet churches. At times, the words flowed freely lifting up to God. At other times, it’s like I had forgotten how to pray. So I sat. Quiet. Still. And in the midst of the stillness and the quiet there was God. And there I found strength.