I peered through the clouded glass window of an old church located near the edge of a desolate town. Dust and cobwebs made their home in much of the place and it appeared as though no one had been there for quite some time. I wondered about the souls that this place had harvested throughout time and my mind wandered.
Drawn back to the window, I spotted a long, tattered pew just below the sill. It was evident that this was a strong, sturdy bench made from the finest wood. Even amidst the particles of dust, you could see its marred and blemished surface gave way to the raw hardwood beneath. I marveled at how the carpenter must have viewed this blank slate before its creation. Oh the wonders of its history.
My eyes grew increasingly heavy and, in an instant, a surge riffled through my body. I felt as though I was being transported to another place in time. As strange as this was, peace overcame any sense of fear I may have had. In the distance I could hear a piano playing the familiar hymn of How Great Thou Art. Where was I? Did I dare open my eyes? Slowly I willed my eyelids to separate. I was there, sitting upon the very pew I had cherished just moments ago. Only this time, it was filled with a neatly dressed family singing praises to God.
Immediately after the music ended, the pastor called for prayer. Seated beside me was a beautiful, middle-aged woman who slowly bowed her head and quietly wept before God. This incredible moment had opened my ears to hear the silent prayers she offered. I witnessed her tears fall upon the polished bench and knew it was a resting place before the Holy Spirit collected them to put in her book of life.
Story upon story, moments in time flashed before me for which seemed like an eternity. I leaned back against the pew and thoughtfully closed my eyes. I pondered the many lives that were revealed to me and slowly drifted back to the clouded window whence this journey began. I too bowed my head and gave thanks for the memories upon that tattered pew. Handcrafted with love, it served as a resting place for the hopeless, gave comfort and peace to the hurting, available to the searching and provided strength for much joy and laughter.