The streets were full with people going this way and that. I used my phone to track my way to the Contemporary Jewish Museum. Alan told me it was close by, and I thought it’d be an interesting place to visit. I walked with purpose, following the tracking dot to my destination. And when I looked up, I saw it.
Not the Jewish museum, but the church. The church I’d been staring at the back of every day. The one whose bells woke me my first morning here. Saint Patrick’s Catholic Church. It sat majestic on the street, beckoning weary souls inside. The sign said it was established in 1851, and the building looked it. It was old but not run down. History was thick in the walls. It is listed as San Francisco’s historic landmark #4.
The outer doors were open, and I was drawn inside. Not being Catholic, I walked in somewhat apprehensive, unsure what to expect. The inner doors were shut, so I laid my ear to the crack making sure I wasn’t about to interrupt a mass. I pulled the heavy wooden doors carefully, not making a sound. I had a sudden intake of breath as I marveled at the beauty within.
I glanced from the Holy water beside me to the rows of pews in front of me. I walked down the center aisle wishing to sit at the front but not wanting to draw attention to myself from the other worshippers inside. Candles were lit in bunches down the outside of each row. My girlfriend had lightheartedly asked me to light a candle for her if I found a Catholic church. I looked for unlit candles and matches, but didn’t see any. I was afraid to ask, for fear they might ask for my Catholic membership card or something.
I finally settled on sitting in a pew toward the back. I sat down and inhaled the glory of God. I was at home. Tears flooded my eyes, and all I wanted to do was fall on my face and cry “Glory! God you are so good.” At home, I closed my eyes to talk to my Almighty Father.
Exalt the LORD our God and worship at his footstool; he is holy. Psalm 99:5 NIV
God, you deserve all the glory and honor. Thank you for drawing me to You today. Thank you for placing a little piece of home in a large and busy city. I love you and stand in awe of Your presence in my life. Please continue to use me. Amen.