I came to pray

Yesterday, a day like any other day, the bell of my church office rang.  Opening the door I looked into the face of a man around my age with a pensive look he made a simple request.  Is the church open, I’d like to pray?

It may not seem an unusual request except that in my 15 years of ministry I could count on one hand the number of times this has occurred. Sadly, for some reason people have not understood or taken the opportunity to use our churches (especially Protestant ones) as sacred spaces.

I offered to join him but, ‘Thank you, I don’t really want any help’, he responded, ‘I’d just like somewhere quiet to pray, it’s for my family.’

This day, I was glad that this church is still here and that I was as well: someone to open the door; someone to give another the space they needed.  Pastoral care can be as simple as being prepared to open the door.

As difficult as it may seem I wonder just how important it is for our buildings to remain sacred spaces, and more importantly, how vital it is to be around to open the door, even just occasionally?