I got lost on my way to Worcester today. I was frustrated. Tears threatened to brim over, as I had gone the complete opposite direction I was supposed to. I was stubborn and sure I was on the right train, but when the line ended far past my arrival time, I knew. So I found the information desk, asked for help, handed over far too many pounds for a new ticket, and made my way back the way I had come.
I made it, just two hours past when I was supposed to arrive.
I wandered the streets of this town and fell in love with its simplicity, its heart, its sweetness. And I found myself in front of a grand cathedral, so large I am enveloped in it. The afternoon sun is glowing behind it, casting it in an ethereal haze. I am drawn into the entranceway and into its grandeur, large, towering grey stones and tiled floor. I’m immersed into the colours of the stained glass, the sound of someone’s heels clicking across the echoing building. I am in wonder of the bodies buried here, and the Scriptures engraved upon their final resting place. The lines above me intersect in grand ways to draw my eyes up, up, up.
Cathedrals always remind me of God’s vastness. We are so small. The Lord is so grand.
I silently make my way up to the centre of the cathedral, and a cloaked woman greets me. Greetings are hard to find here in Britain – mostly everyone keeps to themselves, and I, the extrovert, find my greetings being met with strange looks and bewildered responses. I return her welcome, and find myself invited to join eveningsong. I have never been to an Anglican service before, and I am curious as to whether I will know what to do. I join the few scattered in the pews and read the pamphlets placed before me.
I have always known the giant churches and buildings to be filled with religion and tradition and so far from life. I have often judged when I should love. But tonight, listening to the psalms read with soft accents, echoing across the grand building, I am in awe of one thing, and one thing only: God’s holiness.
His holiness and reverence for Him echoes in the silent steps of the ministers as they cross the floor. His holiness echoes in the pauses after each phrase is read. His holiness is echoed in the way our knees touch the floor as we kneel and say the Lord’s prayer. How often to do I stop to kneel before my Lord – physically or in my heart? How often do I pause to meditate on the words of Scripture I read, tucking them ever so sweetly into hollowed out places in my heart?
My God, my God – how much I have to learn. He is not only found in the relaxed liturgy of my Baptist church, or in the raised arms in a Protestant service. And how foolish I am to think He is. How foolish I am to place Him in a box.
Praise God He is bigger than the boxes I place Him in.
And praise Him that He is found when we get lost and find ourselves right on time for evening song. Praise God that He is found in the vastness of a grand cathedral,
and the dirty places in my heart.