Something About Sin


Staring at a shape, created by light coming through stained glass, I was thinking about sin. The pastor was droning on but I was stuck on something he said, “sin is just our turning away from God.” The shape was angular and mostly deep red, reflecting off the mahogany sanctuary floor.

It was cloudy when I entered the chapel and the organ was softly sounding out something vaguely familiar. I had found a seat at the end of a row near the back and I was wondering why I had come. Then I started feeling that old familiar quiet, my shoulders relaxed and I closed my eyes. It may have looked like I was praying but I was just concentrating on clearing my mind. I was aware that the music had stopped and someone was talking about birthdays. I opened my eyes and began to focus on the neck of a young woman sitting directly in front of me. Her blond hair was pinned up and a few strands had fallen away. She tilted her head down to look at something in her hands and I watched the tendons move beneath her skin. Then I wondered what she was thinking.

The organ was playing again and someone was singing. I forced myself to look toward the ceiling. It may have appeared that I was thinking about God but I was thinking about what someone may be thinking about me. Did I look out of place here? I had not worn a jacket or tie but my shirt was expensive. A button down oxford with thin blue stripes. I was looking at the pictures on the ceiling. Had someone actually painted it or was it a paper mural? It was a collage of clouds, Mary with the Baby, some sheep with a Shepherd and a nearly naked Jesus on the cross.

Then I looked down when the sun broke through and that colorful shape appeared on the floor next to me. I was mesmerized. It was garish at the center with soft, blurred edges. Then I heard the pastor say that thing about sin and I just kept looking at the light.

01/27/2017 © Don Lehman