Last week, I got political in the column. Thanks to everyone who read and responded. To the friends I lost because of a stance I took, I'm sorry to have lost you. I wish you happy.
Regardless of the title above, I'm not going to step further into controversy by talking about religion; however, I am going to talk about church. No, about churches.
A cradle Methodist, I grew up in the Gilead Church. I say I grew up in it, but quite
But, oh, the buildings. I'm not sure how I would feel about them if I were non-Christian, but I love them. All of them. I've managed to visit at least one in every city I've ever visited. I like the old ones best, the ones where you can feel the weight of centuries of heartbreak and hope when you go through the doors. I am always overwhelmed by the sheer size of the big ones, and usually slide into a pew to do my praying, because once I'm in the pew I'm one-on-one with God again.
In the wayback, when Duane was in Vietnam, St. Charles in Peru kept its doors unlocked--at least during the day--and I used to go in there after work and light a candle for Duane, dropping a dime into the metal coin box on the table. I'd go to Mass sometimes, too. I don't know if it was because I actually preferred the Catholic faith to my own or because I liked wearing a lace mantilla--women all covered their heads then.
At the little church in Ammons, Kentucky where my mother-in-law grew up, the floor used to slope so much on the left side that leaving the church was like doing a mini-mountain-climb.
It saddens me that so many churches are closed. I'm glad to see some of them being restored and repurposed (thank you, Dave Van Baalen). I don't pretend to know what comes next in religion--I can only take care of my own--but that doesn't make me any less grateful for what I have learned and for the places I've learned it.