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If the walls could talk ...

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Avatar for Samantha-Smith
Written by   38
1 year ago

This post was actually sparked by a conversation I had about a month ago with another member of the Hive community about churches.

He has written another fantastic #thoughtfuldailypost about how actions speak louder than words and has focussed the discursive element of his post on how he has witnessed this hypothesis playing out in church communities. He has also provided some really fabulous photos of a truly beautiful and endearing white church that he and his wife attend together.

His post resulted in a short conversation in the comments between us where we learned that we both have this thing in common that we do, which may seem weird to some, and which neither believed that anybody else did: we both love to touch church walls.

Before this engagement, I had no idea what I was going to write for the #thoughtfuldailypost that day and was considering having to skip the dreemport challenge as I had to take my son to a Secondary (senior) school open evening as he is in his last year at Primary School and so has to choose a Secondary school soon for next September. But, after arriving home, doing a late dinner, and putting the kids to bed, I finally had some time to write. I may have missed the deadline for the @dreemport challenge but I wanted to write about this anyway as I always feel a strong connection to church walls😊

So this may seem like a weird thing to do: going around and touching church walls, and I wonder now after my chat with @tattoodjay how many other people commune with churches in this way and what their personal reasons and gains may be from engaging like this?

Now, I don't attend church. I am fairly non-denominational as I find my God all around me in my life, in everything I do, see and experience. I find my God inside of my thoughts and my dreams and my passions and in the miracles of the unfolding Universe. I personally don't have a need to go to a specific place of worship on a regular basis, for me to be able to give thanks, show gratitude and continue to try to be the best human that I can be (although I am certainly not knocking the Church either!).

I mostly frequent chapels, churches, and cathedrals when I am out on my walks (and fall upon a hidden gem) or during my holiday travels around the world, pre-covid and hopefully again one day in the not too distant future! There is always something that draws me inside; be it the exquisite stained glass windows, the incredible architecture, the quaintness, the history. Aaah, the history 💗

I genuinely love old stone churches the most. You know, the ones that are centuries old and have the most incredible stained glass depictions from the Christian bible. They are also usually made using very large blocks of heavy stone and, for me, the aura of history that surrounds them is too alluring to ignore. So I enter these churches, light a candle or two, and offer up a silent prayer to my God and to the Universe, and then I wander around inside, trying to gain a sense of these wondrous places of worship within which I find myself. And I touch the walls. I caress them even. I take myself away to a quiet place within, lean in close alone with the walls and I commune.

I love the intensity of the coldness of the walls juxtaposed with the sense of peace and tranquillity that I feel when I touch them. In themselves, they are at once simply cold slabs of stone, and simultaneously a real symbol of strength and stability, of endurance through the ages, a safe haven for all who seek their protection. As I said to @tattoodjay, it feels like in some way I am connecting with the past and the history of a beautiful sacred space and it gives me pause for reflection.

I reflect on the Churches, the lives they have touched, the generations that have passed through them, and the life experiences that have played out within the sanctity and safe harbour of their walls. I wonder what things they have heard, what scenes they have witnessed, and what prayers have been answered in their presence?

Quite simply I find the walls of churches soulful and I can't help but wonder what stories they could tell...what stories they would tell... if the walls could talk. And so perhaps, in standing, touching, gently caressing an old dame of our world, whilst reflecting on her life, I am secretly hoping that I may hear even a whisper back in reply.

I hope you enjoyed these reflections, and thank you @tattoodjay for inspiring this post.

Photo credit Matt Hardy

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Written by   38
1 year ago
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