The Neighborhood Now

I knelt, silently, with a world of believers in Saint Peter’s Basilica. The colors of skin, the shapes of faces, the cut of the wardrobe all part of the fabric weaving us together. The pilgrimage, long a tradition, made new by the escape from irrational politics to a place of faith. ‘Set your mind on things above’ is a tad easier when the ceiling vaults to a sky like proportion, the prayers of centuries past echoing just beyond candlelit whispers.


The devout, come out of the crowd, take a knee, and return to the turning world. What we bring to the throne comes home with us, an adopted dove of peace forever ours to feed and keep. We are connected by the presence of Spirit seeking an indwelling relationship. This brotherhood, this kinship sealed in the Lord’s Prayer. Our Father, emphasis on Our, welcomes us with robes and rings.


We run from love to find Love running to us bright as a train leaving a lifelong tunnel. The mind clears, the soul quickens, the heart expands, it really is our neighbor as ourself that defines our legacy, our children’s inheritance. We are all immigrants to the citizenship of heaven. It is not our home, but His. He invites us to take it by the hand by lending a hand to those in need. This is the custom of being heavenly. Grace is best known in movement, in generosity, in compassionate care, in extended family. Our Father.


The language of worship doesn’t need to be spoken, or translated. Adoration is the door we enter to know His people. While we are yet still afar off, while we are yet sinners, we are known, called home, and called to reconcile. Faith without action is dead. The most simple thing to share is the light in our eyes, and the greatest thing to receive is His perspective.

I went to church in a foreign land with Egyptians, Romanians, Italians, Germans, and a host of others. The whole time I had a sense of God opening his photo album to show me how His children have grown. Everywhere we turn, there is God with His Selfie-stick saying, “Smile.”

Will Schmit

Will Schmit is a volunteer outreach prison minister for Lifehouse Church in McKinleyville Ca. He is the author of Head Lines A Sixty Day Guide to Personal Psalmistry and Jesus Inside A Prison Minister's Memoir and Training Manual both available at Amazon Books and The website also includes poetry, ministry updates, and music downloads from Bring To Glory a CD of spoken word with coffee house jazz.

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