Day 38: Spend some time in a church today.Posted: February 7, 2011
This task would, of course, fall on a Monday. Yesterday, it would’ve been a piece of pie, easy as cake. Today, not so much.
Most churches are not – forgive the expression – open for business on Mondays. Everybody who’s going has just been – any mid-week extra-ecclesiastical stuff isn’t going to happen until Tuesday evening, at the earliest. Still, I had to try. There’s an Episcopal church near the train station whereat I disembark, and it’s even sort of on my way to campus. I decided to stop by, just out of curiosity, and found all the doors locked. That would, I assume, have been the case at almost any church I tried (though there weren’t any others within convenient walking distance).
I was left with few options, then, after this disappointment. I could, late in the day, go to my own church – to which I have a key – or I could continue trying find an open church. I chose the latter, because I knew of an open church: the chapel on campus.
It’s not the Sistene Chapel, unfortunately. It’s not even, really, anything like it – although what is? No, it’s a Protestant chapel, which means that it’s simple, plain, iconoclastic: white walls, clear windows, clean lines, very little color, absolutely no ornamentation.
It’s peaceful, certainly, especially after being cooped up with small children for the better part of a week. But it’s not, at least for me, particularly compelling. After a few minutes, in fact, it was – and I hope I don’t get struck by lightning or boils for saying this – kind of boring. I think that, had I stayed much longer, I might have fallen asleep on one of the pews (although this may have had more to do with the fact that it was naptime, and I was low on caffeine).
Perhaps my attention span was ruined in my childhood by video games and MTV, or perhaps my papist upbringing has made it impossible for me to really feel like a big, empty, white room is a church – either way, though, today’s task was a bit underwhelming.
And I never got to take a nap, either.