An Episcopal church. A weekday. It’s an ornate building with flickering votives in the corner. The door was unlocked so I came inside. Nobody seemed to notice me, so I pulled up a pew.
There are only two people in this chapel. Across the aisle is an older woman. Her hair is white, her head is down. Behind her is a young scruffy-looking man, head also down.
I wasn’t raised Episcopalian, but I like pretty churches. Plus, Piskies are always good about letting you just pop in and hang out with no strings attached. If I would have popped into a Baptist church they would have already signed me up for nursery duty.
But if I’m being truly honest, I came to this ornate place because I was hoping to get a column out of the deal. These words don’t just write themselves, and I needed inspiration.
Inspiration has been hard to come by this last year. Some mornings I wake up happy as a bumblebee. Other days, I wake up still feeling
the weight of last years’ chaos lingering.
A lot of little changes have occurred in my life since the pandemic. Too many changes to list in one column. Changes like, for example, my pants don’t fit anymore. Also I’m getting more stray gray hairs. And some nights I fall asleep before “Matlock” is even over.
It’s quiet in here. I’m staring at the backlit stained glass and I decide to try my hand at praying.
My problem, of course, is that I am horrible at prayer. Don’t call on me to say grace at your barbecue, I get so nervous I start reciting the preamble to the Constitution and I require an emergency Miller Lite.
The only real examples of prayer during my fundamentalist childhood came from my uncle Tommy Lee, who was an amateur Missionary Baptist preacher. He treated prayer like an improvised Lynyrd Skynyrd guitar…