The introductory chords of the closing hymn had just begun when he appeared in my vision, a man striding intently down the center aisle of the sanctuary toward the chancel and the communion table–toward me and my colleague. It’s not an uncommon occurrence, actually. I can’t count the times a person has taken this route from the sanctuary entrance to the Fellowship Hall, where the coffee and cookies are, during a worship service.
But this gentleman did not turn left toward cookies and coffee. Instead, he reached the table, planted his feet, extended both his arms straight out to their sides in a cruciform pattern and bowed his head. Neither my colleague or I moved. We didn’t look at each other. We watched him. After a moment he looked up at her and then me and declared with utter conviction and strong diction, “I’m going to be okay.” He then turned around and began running back down the center aisle, breaking into a sprint and then slamming through the rear doors and out onto the sidewalk.
Unfazed, the congregation stood and sang the hymn.
We’re going to be okay.
Go in peace.