Recently I had something terrible happen to me and I was mad at God. So I decided not to go to church for a while. My parents sensed that I needed a break from church so they invited me to go on a “road trip”. They are new in town and wanted to explore southern California. They love history so I thought it would be fun to go to the missions in Oceanside and San Juan Capistrano.
We had a lovely breakfast in Del Mar and then went to Mission San Luis Ray de Francia in Oceanside which is one of the largest missions in southern California. It was a beautiful place and full of history and interesting facts about early California. I was having a great time until I walked into the sanctuary of the mission. I had forgotten that missions were also churches which is just where I did not want to be. I spent a few moments in the sanctuary and tried to pretend that God was not there and then I went on to see the other historical artifacts at the mission.
We then went on to Mission San Juan Capistrano. There is a lot to see there and the first thing you see is a sanctuary that is in ruins due to an earthquake that happened in the 1800s. It was really interesting and I thought, “Oh good, there is no church here that I have to worry about”. Well, I was wrong. I went all around and looked at all the rooms and artifacts and the last place I ended up in was, you guessed it. The new sanctuary that was put up later on after the earthquake.
I had to admit it did have a presence in it and I started to deal with my feelings about God. In the Catholic faith they have many saints and I didn’t know much about them, but they had one statue of a saint off in a special room in the church and it was the saint that dealt with the very thing that I have been dealing with for a long time. I stopped there for a while and offered a prayer that God would help me get through what I needed to and I stopped and looked at the candles there and although I did not light one, I understood what they meant.
All I can say to this is that God knew that I could not meet him in the usual place that I worship at and He found a way to find me in the mist of my pain and for that I am grateful. May God meet you where you need Him also.