Each evening, when I go to lock up the church, I check the visitor’s book; and there is always a thrill when in the half-light I see another line is full. Today’s was inscribed in bold neat strokes:
N.N. Edinburgh. A peaceful time for me.
We have a visitor’s book and a prayer tree. The prayer tree is almost always anguished. In my head, I think of it as the cancer tree. I sense pain there, and the panicked prayers of desperation. But in the visitor’s book, page after page shows me that people come to be with God.
If we did nothing else at St Mary’s but keep the church doors open I think we would be serving the community well.
I walk away each evening feeling slightly guilty:
guilty because I never write in visitor’s books
guilty because all my good intentions for words of welcome and prayer prompts and resources for our visitors still have not come to fruition. But perhaps that doesn’t matter. It’s not resources they come for, but time to be without distraction or demands.
Today while our visitor sought peace, I have sought angels’ wings. It’s the risk of ordination: one falls in love with Michaelmas.
In my case, the angels took flesh in the murals at St Ninian’s, Pollokshields. I still miss them.