The Blessing of Empty Churches

As a priest, I have witnessed myriads of strangers randomly stop by and ask to sit in the church. It happens more than one would think. They sit in silence, and leave in silence, often with some tears in their eyes. And because I give them space, never hovering over them or forcing a conversation, I have always wondered about their story. What drove them to sanctuary?  I now have a better understanding. I get it. Like a child who desperately needs the presence of a parent, sometimes we just need to sit in God’s house.