The oiled wood of the cathedral creaked under the shoes of my son and I as we tip-toed through the back doors. “Silence, please,” the sign read.
And I wondered how many tired, weary, searching souls had passed through that threshold seeking just that.
St. Stanislaus is the name of the church, a catholic parish, the largest and oldest in Chicago, home to throngs of Polish and Ukrainian immigrants, including my great grandparents, since the 19th century.
I took my son there last Saturday, seeking the peace my weary ancestors and their peers perhaps sought as they embarked on hopeful journeys in this land, new to them . . . even as I seek peace as I am about to return to their homeland.
Why am I going?
Why did the earliest Christians go to lands unfamiliar and even frightening to them?
Did God drop-kick them out of their comfort zones, like He’s done with me? To be sure, if this trip had not been miraculously funded in a matter of days . . . had His voice not been crystal clear and even deafening that I am supposed to go . . . were my husband not insistent that he is indeed leaving me at the airport, like it or not, in a few short hours . . . I would not go on this trip.
My stomach is gurgling here in the wee hours of the morning as I write. My fingers tremble. I want to wake my boys and dogs and husband and spoon with them all until my fears go away.
And yet my mind knows that my peace can only come from trusting Him.
That’s my selfish, myopic problem, after all. I don’t really trust Him. Not really.
“Lord, help me overcome my unbelief,” l cry. “So I can be a true servant. A true warrior for the Kingdom. A brave heart instead of one that shirks behind doubt.”
Then again, I am reminded of those He called before–not that I am worthy of comparison to Moses or Mary, David or Peter . . . Bible heroes listed in Hebrews 11 as champions of faith, but who, if you delve deep into scripture, were scared s***less, like I feel now. (Bless their hearts, they didn’t even have Pepto Bismol, Zantac, Xanax, scopolamine patches, and Gas-X to help them out.)
Use me, God, despite my knotted up innards and shaky soul.
Cover me and this team in the curve of Your hand, breathe peace and power into us, so that those who know us best will know anything good that comes from this trip comes from You.
Go in peace, indeed.
“Then he said to me, “Speak a prophetic message to these bones and say, ‘Dry bones, listen to the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Look! I am going to put breath into you and make you live again! I will put flesh and muscles on you and cover you with skin. I will put breath into you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord .’” . . . ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: O my people, I will open your graves of exile and cause you to rise again. Then I will bring you back to the land of Israel. When this happens, O my people, you will know that I am the Lord . I will put my Spirit in you, and you will live again . . .” (Ezekiel 37:4-14 NLT)