45. ChurchIt was the first time Erin had set foot in a church in the better part of a decade. She wouldn’t have been there at all if her best friend’s daughter wasn’t being christened. The hallmark of a true friend, she knew, was someone willing to get over themselves for special occasions.

As she walked into the ornate, cavernous building, she felt overwhelmed. Old churches were designed to do that, she supposed; in the presence of God, one should be in a state of awe. She loved the stained glass, the tapestries, the statues — she had to admit that she loved the grandeur of it all. Everything seemed so large, just as the world would seem for a child.

Erin was there early, so she had time to get a closer look at some of the artwork. Were the artists paid to do a job, she wondered, or were they moved to raise their artistic “voices” to give glory to the Lord?

She felt oddly at peace in the church as she found a seat in the front row. She had been raised in a church like this one, and began to wonder why she had stayed away so long.

Lost in thought, Erin didn’t notice the elderly lady until the lady poked her hard in the shoulder. “You’re in my seat,” she said, motioning her to get up, glaring at her until she moved. At that point, it was starting to come back to her why she’d left.