I Stand Amazed at the Presence

Aug 18

The streets were full with people going this way and that. I used my phone to track my way to the Contemporary Jewish Museum. Alan told me it was close by, and I thought it’d be an interesting place to visit. I walked with purpose, following the tracking dot to my destination. And when I looked up, I saw it.

Not the Jewish museum, but the church. The church I’d been staring at the back of every day. The one whose bells woke me my first morning here. Saint Patrick’s Catholic Church. It sat majestic on the street, beckoning weary souls inside. The sign said it was established in 1851, and the building looked it. It was old but not run down. History was thick in the walls. It is listed as San Francisco’s historic landmark #4.

The outer doors were open, and I was drawn inside. Not being Catholic, I walked in somewhat apprehensive, unsure what to expect. The inner doors were shut, so I laid my ear to the crack making sure I wasn’t about to interrupt a mass. I pulled the heavy wooden doors carefully, not making a sound. I had a sudden intake of breath as I marveled at the beauty within.

I glanced from the Holy water beside me to the rows of pews in front of me. I walked down the center aisle wishing to sit at the front but not wanting to draw attention to myself from the other worshippers inside. Candles were lit in bunches down the outside of each row. My girlfriend had lightheartedly asked me to light a candle for her if I found a Catholic church. I looked for unlit candles and matches, but didn’t see any. I was afraid to ask, for fear they might ask for my Catholic membership card or something.

I finally settled on sitting in a pew toward the back. I sat down and inhaled the glory of God. I was at home. Tears flooded my eyes, and all I wanted to do was fall on my face and cry “Glory! God you are so good.” At home, I closed my eyes to talk to my Almighty Father.

Exalt the LORD our God and worship at his footstool; he is holy. Psalm 99:5 NIV

God, you deserve all the glory and honor. Thank you for drawing me to You today. Thank you for placing a little piece of home in a large and busy city. I love you and stand in awe of Your presence in my life. Please continue to use me. Amen.

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  • Carol Aug 19 at 1:58 pm

    Thanks for sharing. The church is beautiful. I would love to be there with you. Enjoy God's and Man's handiwork.
    Sue Sue

  • Kimberly Aug 19 at 2:00 pm

    Beautiful devotion, my beautiful friend.

    I cannot help but think of a Psalm He had me in recently.
    "Listen, O daughter;
    Consider and incline your ear;
    Forget your own people also, and your father's house;
    So the King will greatly desire your beauty;
    Because He is your Lord, worship Him." Ps. 45:10, 11

    I know that was a precious moment for you, Carol, but I also believe it was a precious moment for the Lord. He is enthralled with your beauty. And in that quiet moment, His beautiful one was worshiping Him. Indeed, I am sure it is a moment He treasures as well.

    Love you.

  • Anonymous Aug 19 at 5:23 pm

    I love it..I love it..Love it..make that your devotion in your articals..Gives me chills…I love your faith…love you…


  • Sharon Kirby Aug 21 at 3:48 pm

    Isn't it wonderful to "find" a touch of God when you're somewhere far from home?!
    My sons just left for Mexico for business (yes…a little scary) and I gave them these two verses to carry with them:
    "Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you…For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
    (Deuteronomy 31:8 and Joshua 1:9)

    GOD BLESS you today, Carol!

  • Rachel Olsen Aug 25 at 4:16 am

    What a beautiful space! It draws you in, and upward.

  • Genny Aug 26 at 10:01 pm

    How beautiful, Carol!

    Following your blog,

    Genny 🙂

  • matt6v33 Aug 31 at 10:24 pm

    young lady, u have truly been blessed by Him, with such awsome talent and such a lovely heart! I pray this day for you, that u will continue on, to shed the light, unto this "Loss and Dying" world.

    In Christian Charity,

  • Cheri Bunch Sep 1 at 3:47 pm

    Stopped by your blog today. Enjoyed my visit as I perused your posts. Your site is very uplifting!

  • Byron Sep 5 at 2:31 am

    When I visit the Philippines, I always try to visit an old Spanish Catholic Church from the 16th-18th centuries. I don't know what it is about these huge churches, but when I step inside I get a feeling that is hard to describe.

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