…a time to be silent and a time to speak…Ecclesiastes 3:7
Whether you are a believer or a non-believer, entering through church doors is a religious experience. The church can be a small, quaint structure or a massive architectural wonder – no matter. There is a respect and awe that occurs when one opens those doors and steps inside. Our voices lower, we step lightly, we pause.
The sign on the door of All Saints Episcopal in Linville, N.C., says it best: “Enter this door as if the floor within were gold, and every wall of jewels all of wealth untold. As if a choir in notes of fire were singing here. Nor shout, nor rush, but hush – God is here.”
Each time I have stepped over the threshold into another sanctuary, I am enveloped by the holiness of the space. It happened when I visited a simple chapel near Franklin, N.C., with peeling paint and a wood stove for heat. It happened when I entered a beautifully decorated church in Blowing Rock, N.C., with a six-foot painting of Mary and Jesus. You expect the feeling when you enter your own church on Sunday morning – or in a great European cathedral. You don’t expect it in a church whose only adornment is a paint-by-number of the Last Supper.
But His presence is there. And it’s enough to restore faith or build faith – whatever the case may be. You wonder as you quietly tug on the massive iron door, or the wood frame door, or the stained glass door: How many have worshiped here, cried over lost loved ones, or prayed for miracles?
Consider that at some point during the week, thousands – hundreds of thousands – of Americans are entering through church doors. They seek to know Him better while in the confines of the four walls, and they return the next week seeking to know Him even better still.
The chaos of our lives, the wars abroad, and the endless worries are silenced momentarily inside of a church. These houses of worship are truly refuges, sanctuaries for the people who open their doors.
I opened a lot of church doors and found the heart of Christ. Take time to open the doors…the doors to your heart, to your church, and to your Father.
Be thoughtful, be silent, be reverent – for this is the house of God.
Deena C. Bouknight lived in the Western North Carolina Mountains for close to 10 years. She now resides in Columbia, S.C. with her husband and two adopted children. Deena has been a freelancer for regional, national, and international magazines and books for 25 years. Reach Deena by emailing email@example.com or by visiting her blog at http://writinglifeofdeenabouknight.blogspot.com or www.deenabouknight.webs.com.
Read Deena’s devotions.