Dashing around the corner for a little prayer

I Thought To Myself, "The churches in New York are becoming like convenience stores. People are going in and out of them all the time."

I began to pick up on this when I attended a Christmas Eve service at a Presbyterian church on Fifth Avenue. The church was mobbed. Standing room only. The guy sitting in front of me—a classy-looking middle-aged man—cried throughout the service, especially when the events relative to 9/11 were brought up by the minister. It was obvious he was very touched by the service. I cried, too. The service was very moving.

A few weeks ago I had occasion to be in Manhattan again for a short time. I was downtown—39th and Park. Several churches in that neighborhood had their doors open. I stepped into one of them. People walked in, dressed in a variety of ways—leather jackets, jeans, fur coats, you name it. People would sit down in a pew, pray or meditate a little, and move on, much like they'd dash into Duane Reade for a tube of toothpaste.

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March 4, 2002

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