Sitting alone in the sanctuary, lights out, nothing but sunlight pouring through the stained glass window to light the room. Silence. Complete silence.
How funny, I thought, that I was just sitting here. I remember being young and walking through the sanctuary at church and feeling overwhelmed. Almost like I didn’t belong, it was too holy of a place. Not because anyone had said that, I just felt it. It looked so huge, so overbearing, so . . . scary. I remember wondering what it would be like to be a part of what went on every Sunday. Would that ever be me? What would I do? Would I always be here? Then, I would scurry off, the feeling of being tiny in such a big space still crawling on my skin.
Now, it seemed so small. This room that we worshiped in, that we laughed in, that we cried in. It had been used for weddings and funerals, banquets and bible studies. But sitting and looking, it just seemed so small. When did I lose the wonder? When did it become so familiar? When did I quit dreaming about what was to come next?
Looking up to that huge stained glass window, the sunbeams looked light search lights in the darkness. They probed the thick blackness, waiting to illuminate and bring to life whatever they touched. “Touch me!” my heart screamed. “Find me!” I wept. It’s not that I was necessarily lost, I had lost something and it was there searching for me. The light of wonderment was searching for me.
The air around me became heavy. There was a thickness in it. You could almost feel the weight of the air. Like a warm blanket being wrapped around me, the holy spirit enclosed me. I lost track of time, as I just sat there, in the silence, in awe of this place and of my God.
I don’t want the normal. I don’t want the mundane, the usual, the expected. I want to walk into the sanctuary and stand in awe. Not because of it’s grandeur, not because of it’s mass. No, I want to stand in awe of what it houses. What it represents. A holy place. God lives in our hearts. Yes. He is everywhere and in everything. Yes. But, when you come into the sanctuary, you come into a representation of a holy place. A place where sin is forgiven. A place where souls are saved. A place where you can come in broken hearted and leave healed. A place where you can lay down every care in your life, and have it washed away. That is something to stand in awe of. The fact that we are still allowed to do so, to worship freely and openly, is a wonder in itself.
So the next time you are hurrying into your sanctuary, stop. Stop and ask God to reveal the wonderment of his place. Ask him to search you out, and make you see his place from a whole new view. Then, enjoy, and step into it!