I Stand Amazed at the Presence


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.


Carol

Church Bells


There were bells ringing. Church bells. I recognized the sound immediately and rolled over from my sleep. My head ached from sleeping on a squishy pillow all night. I was excited to be in a hotel room with my husband and no kids, but as I listened to my husband in the bathroom get ready for his conference, I realized – there are no kids.

Last night, no kids meant strolling hand in hand through the streets of China Town in San Francisco. It meant eating at a table for two in a romantic little restaurant in Little Italy. But this morning, it means no hugs and kisses before the school bus. And most especially, no sweet giggles and nibbles on fat baby cheeks. I felt a twinge of sadness.

I rolled over in the bed thinking about my kids, when I noticed the bells again and wondered where they came from. Then I remembered the church I saw yesterday. When we walked in the room, it was the first thing I noticed of the view out the wall of windows. I even chuckled to myself and thought how much like God it was for Him to place a beautiful old church right outside my view. But this morning, I understood.

He placed me right in front of this church for a reason – to remind me that He is here. While my children did not travel across the nation with me to California, God did. He is here with me. He always is.

What comfort to know when you are facing an uncertain circumstance, even when it is as silly as missing your kids, God is always there.

For the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deut. 31:6 NIV

Thank you, Lord, for the reminder that you are never far away.

Carol

Sleeping in Church


I was sound asleep. Our regular pastor wasn’t there, and we had a special speaker – a woman whose message I can’t even remember. Perhaps you would expect a sleeper on the back row. But my chosen seat was up front. With no shame, I stretched out right beside the speaker, up close to the pulpit. And I do mean stretched out; I was lying down…

Grab a cup of coffee and join me at the Cafe. Click HERE to read the rest of my devotion.

Carol

Entitled

The look on his face said it all. “But-,” he started. My son couldn’t believe the words coming out of my mouth. “You heard me,” I told him, “turn the television off.” His steps were slow and methodical. He turned again to look at my eyes before he hit the off button, just to make sure he heard correctly…

Join me today at 5 Minutes for Faith. Click HERE to read the rest of my devotion.

Carol

Entitled

The look on his face said it all. “But-,” he started. My son couldn’t believe the words coming out of my mouth. “You heard me,” I told him, “turn the television off.” His steps were slow and methodical. He turned again to look at my eyes before he hit the off button, just to make sure he heard correctly…

Join me today at 5 Minutes for Faith. Click HERE to read the rest of my devotion.

Carol