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Essay: Holy Places

It’s almost too warm to jog but I lace up my shoes anyway. There’s no traffic this morning because it’s Sunday and the streets are quiet. The only cars are on their way to church or to the convenience store for coffee and a paper.

Down the block from my house is a small white church building that’s used by various  groups. A couple of guys are leaning against a pick-up truck having a cigarette before going inside. They nod as I go by.

Around the corner is the big Catholic church and the parking lot is full. A stained glass windows is tipped open and I can hear voices singing. 

At the mile-mark, I pass the Lutheran church where people are getting out of their cars for the early service. Some of them smile and say, “Good morning.” Some frown, as if to tell me that I should be in church.

“But I am in church!” I want to say. True, I’m wearing shorts and dripping with sweat, but I’m full of prayer, full of gratitude for my strong legs and these leafy trees and this holy place that is my neighborhood.

If God is anywhere, God is out here under the sky as well as under the roofs of the churches. And I’m out here, too, every Sunday—religiously.