I woke up one morning and thought, “The next time Steven goes to nine o’clock Mass, I’d like to go with him.” It was a surprising thought. I’ve been to Mass with Steven before and found it stuffy. Having the desire to attend such a service was baffling.

Steven was visibly surprised and pleased when I asked if I could go.

We load up Peter and head to Mass. It is a different church than I’ve gone to with him previously. I don’t know all the routines and responses. When Steven genuflects before entering the pew, I briefly wonder if I should. I don’t. Ultimately, I think it would be more disrespectful of me to do something I don’t understand.

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We are there a few minutes early. The lights are dim. It’s quiet. Maybe a whisper is heard. Or Peter babbles. Some worshipers are kneeling in prayer. The stained glass is somewhat abstract. It evokes the elements for me. One window is shades of blue–cool, refreshing. Opposite, the window is yellow and orange giving warmth and comfort. Both working in concert, creating balance. I love these windows. I contemplate the refreshing comfort they provide me.

Surprising.

The priest enters; we stand. He blesses the congregants and begins the service. After attending several times the order is familiar. I participate as I am able. Some participation hindered by Peter; other by lack of knowledge. However, I don’t feel out of place.

Surprising.

Even as the priest speaks or the lector reads scripture, I am in awe of the quiet and how much I am comforted by it. There is no music and yet my soul is singing. I don’t even want music here. It would seem wrong somehow.

Surprising.

The Mass is not long. Less than forty-five minutes. I feel calm, full, my heart still and at peace.

A feeling I have been missing. I don’t understand it. I can’t explain it. God is meeting me in this new place, in this new experience, and I don’t even feel like I have to look for Him. He is just present with His stillness and peace and restoration.

And I am so surprised and grateful, I cry.

Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty!