“It only takes a little faith, man,” says Mark. “You don’t need much. Just a little.”
There is a feeling you get when you sit in Mark’s back row pew. It’s a special pew.
Mark—which isn’t his real name—leads me through the church aisles, guides me to a pew in the rear of the chapel, and he helps me understand what I’m sitting upon.
“This is where it happened,” he tells me.
“Where what happened?” I ask.
“Where something I done asked for ended up happening.”
He crosses his legs, then places his hands in his lap. Long ago, he used to sit on this pew when he came to church as a little boy.
“I didn’t grow up to be a church guy,” he says. “I mean, I believed in God and everything, but I sure ain’t never seen no real miracles before.”
Until one summer. He was not in a good place at the time.
He snuck into the church on a Thursday, after work. There were no
people in the building. The preacher was gone for the day, so was the secretary. In fact, it was a fluke the church was unlocked.
The maintenance man was in the shed, finishing up projects. He hadn’t locked the sanctuary yet.
Mark turned the knob of the doors and let himself into the chapel. The sun was setting. He sat in the back pew.
He did some crying—for his wife. Only one week before, she was diagnosed with a fatal form of breast cancer. He bowed his head and he whispered a few words on her behalf. He was in this pew for fifteen minutes.
“I ain’t got no faith, man, ain’t gonna lie to you, I ain’t even a good guy all the time, you know? I’m human.”
But when Mark went home that day, he saw his…