I originally came by this photo unexpectedly as part of a set I purchased for use in some publishing projects. From the first moment I saw it, I fell in love with it — primarily because it so perfectly depicts one of my favorite spots in the whole world. Most of my adult life I have found that I would rather be alone in the sanctuary of a church visiting with the Lord than almost any other place on earth. A friend of mine once described me as a “church mouse,” because — as he said — I would like to just “live” in a church. Of course, we can pray any place — and I often do. I learned long ago that God doesn’t care where we are, how we are positioned, what we are wearing, or how accurate our grammar is. He just wants communication with us. However, there has always been something so particularly special to me in spending time in a quiet, peaceful church sanctuary.
I remember, during one period of my life, my husband and I lived out in the country very close to a small country church that was more than 100 years old. It had a very small congregation, and they generally had only two services in it each week. The rest of the time it was empty. Even though my hubby and I actually belonged to a different church in a nearby town, we knew a great many of the local people who attended this small white frame church,and we knew quite a bit about its history.
At one time, I felt such a strong desire to spend some time in prayer there, and I asked one of the leaders of the congregation if it might be possible for me to do so. He talked to the other leaders, and, to my amazement, they made me my very own key to the front door and said, “We like the idea that someone wants to spend time praying in our church throughout the week. You just go and pray there any time you feel like it.” So I did. In fact, I went almost daily for well over a year, and even after moving from the area, went back periodically for some time.
I cannot adequately describe what I felt there, but there was something so congenial about walking those old wooden floorboards, sitting in those wooden pews that shined from years of loving wear, and kneeling before the ornate wooden pulpit where so many saints had communed with God for over a hundred years. Often as I prayed there, I could feel the prayers of many of those men and women of faith who had called on God in that very place a century before I even knew how to do so.
This picture takes me back to that experience, and I cherish it deeply.
Thank you, Jake, for this challenge that stirred up such blessed memories.
If you’d like to participate in Jake’s challenge, here’s the link: