The Little Church

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Church fence Last Sunday morning, I made the long drive home from East Texas.

I was all by myself and had hours to ponder life, soak in the beautiful scenery from my childhood and pray.

There was so much to pray about. Where did I start? There were so many family members and friends heavy on my heart.

 

Church SteepleI kept thinking of my sweet mom. She always had a list of people to pray for on a daily basis. When I couldn’t immediately find her in the house, I knew to look for her in her bedroom. She escaped away with her rosary. It was her source of comfort, especially as she grew older and had a harder time driving to church by herself.

 

Church with a red doorDriving on the back roads through small towns in Texas is something I have grown used to over the years for comfort and solace. I haven’t made much time for drives out in the country lately. And until last weekend, I didn’t  realize how much I had missed it.

I had driven through the town of Hubbard, Texas for over 17 years on my way back and forth to Kilgore. I always thought to myself that it looked like such a neat little town, or at least it did from Highway 31. I never had taken the time to stop and look around until last Sunday morning.

 

Church with the Red DoorThere is a sign that is visible from the highway that says “Episcopal Church This Way” with an arrow pointing to the direction. I decided to slow down and go see it for myself.

As I turned right and directly into a neighborhood of what appeared to be historic homes, I saw the steeple and bell almost immediately.

It wasn’t anything like I expected to see. For some reason, I thought it was going to be made of brick and much larger and more grand. The homes from the road were more stately.

How did this tiny church come to be built among all these majestic houses?

 

Red church doorI parked my car.

It was still very early on a Sunday morning so there was no one in the neighborhood on the streets around the church.

I felt awkward.

What if someone would see me looking around the property?

I couldn’t help it.  I was so drawn to this little church and walked the entire property in wonder as if I had stepped back in time.

I didn’t expect the front doors to be open. There was no one around and I couldn’t even hear the noise from the highway only two blocks away.

I wasn’t prepared for what I discovered when I walked through those red wooden doors.

Church pewsThere was such a beauty in the simplicity of the church.

I had a very similar feeling when I first stepped into St. Peter’s Basilica in seeing its grandeur for the first time.

It was an immediate feeling of peace.

I pondered how many people might have sought solace in those walls.

Did they kneel in prayer asking for forgiveness?

Did they come here because they had lost all hope?

Were they seeking salvation?

How many weddings, baptisms and funerals took place surrounded by the stained glass windows? The same windows that were filtering in the morning sun and lighting up the altar as if by magic. I was mesmerized. I prayed for guidance and mercy for all of those that were heavy on my mind.

And then I heard a bird outside and was startled back into the realization of where I was.

How long had I been standing there?

It felt like hours. Or was it because my soul had been yearning for this escape?

I hurried up and closed the doors and looked around outside to see if anyone was around.

There was no one.

The church and its grounds were silent again.

Only I knew what noise it had made in my heart and in my soul.

Sometimes you have to take a little journey to reveal God’s grace.

And I found it again on the back roads of small town Texas.

 

Stay Sassy Y’all. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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