Nary a Word

Here at LTSG we have chapel every weekday at 11:55am (don't ask).  Today, as I walked into the sanctuary and looked for a seat, my eyes were quickly drawn to someone who was sitting alone in his pew. I wasn't drawn there because he was sitting alone, I was drawn there because he was sitting in the middle of the pew, not on the end.

How many times have you entered a church, movie theater, bleachers, opera house, etc. and have encountered an empty row...empty, except for that seat on the end? I encounter it quite often and sometimes that person is me.

I'm not sure why we do that and I am sure that there are not only many reasons but there are probably some very good reasons out there. What I do know, is that seeing that person today, sitting alone in the middle of his pew, was inviting. Without saying a word, or even making eye contact with me, I felt invited to join him.

We can say so much without a single word.  Do you ever wonder what you "say" to people without using words? I need to remind myself to do that more often than I do.


  1. So your post left me wondering, did you go and sit with him? When I reflect on my own body language, I seem to be able to more readily recall the times I expressed negative body language as opposed to positive body language, especially when I'm tired. Your post is a reminder to me that we do say a lot without ever using words, especially when we encounter those we may not even know.

  2. I had that experience on Sunday. I went to church at St. Francis Xavier, where I've never been before, and sat in the middle of a pew 2/3 towards the back of the church. By the time the liturgy had begun, a family with three little kids sat next to me on one side, and a young couple on the other. The little kids, in particular, were incredibly welcoming to me.

  3. By the way, this font works much better for me, too!