Day 8: Nevrincea, Romania.
The windows were pushed wide open in the church, in the hopes someone would hear the music and come. It was the first Sunday in so many Sundays that someone was there to open the Bible and preach in the farming community forgotten by most when Communism came and dimmed the lights on hope. But today a new pastor had come, and today there was music.
He walked in quietly with his son and found a place on the small pew. Visibly shaking, he simply sat. He didn’t know why he was there, but he didn’t want to be away on this day. And so he tried to find a place for his life among the grandmothers and children.
The whispers started. “He is a drunk. You can smell the liquor.”
Strangers prayed for him. Neighbors looked away.
The doors had been opened for him to enter in. But hearts were closed. And so he and his son walked down the dirt road, away from the place where the windows were pushed wide open so all would hear and come.
His face reminds me even today to keep windows and doors and hearts wide open. Because someone is longing for a place. Even me.