Sometimes my family sneaks away to worship God in a quieter place. My husband’s a preacher and I’m a Bible class teacher and the girls are like church pets. We love being loved. We love being used. We love hanging around after worship for an hour talking and laughing, helping and being helped. We love our church.
But every so often, maybe three times a year, we three Gerhardt introverts (and my youngest daughter the extrovert) go to a church where no one knows our names. We listen to someone else preach. We don’t feel queasy when the projector messes up or the volume isn’t loud enough on the worship leader’s mic. It’s nice.
For our most recent sneak away Sunday we travelled west into hill country to worship with good people in a beautiful (beautiful!) setting.
These days not many church buildings have windows. Windows let in light, and light messes with our screens and artificial stage lighting. Windows can be distracting, too; one time on vacation my family visited a church with wall to wall windows and I couldn’t take my eyes off the ant-sized people on the nearby ski slopes.
Still. I love windows in church buildings. I love windows because they remind us to look out—outside ourselves, out at God. I love windows because they let in light, not the artificial kind but the God-spoken kind.
In this church building we visited, worshippers faced a wall of windows, windows looking out over Texas hills, green and brown, a blue, blue sky—all of it God-made. When we sang about our beautiful Creator God, we sang assured by miles of wilderness witness.
Better than the view was the light. Light poured into the room, washing the faces of men and women, children of light, all of us Moseses—radiant in the presence of God. We could feel the warmth on our faces as we proclaimed the glory of One Who shines in the darkness.
I prayed with the psalmist, “The Lord is God, and he has made his light shine on us.”
I don’t remember much about the sermon that Sunday. I can’t remember a single song we sang. But I do remember the way the trees twisted and the way the clouds crawled and the way the light felt on my cheeks, the very touch of God.