It is usually quiet when we step into the church. Sometimes it is as if you can almost hear people thinking and praying. It doesn't seem to matter what kind of church, they all got a feeling to them. It is one of the things we do when we get out and about.

We lament not being able to visit the locked country churches, but we find the voices of the past in the gravestones, just outside the door.

Some of those old farmers do their best talking after they get done with their chores, living like they do. They gather round, drink coffee and eat eggs and sausage and bacon. They share stories, with slivers of truth and enough lies to make a person think.

They laugh mostly over here. They wonder why we can't see them and just shake their heads at us thinking we know all. That feeling you have about them being right there with you is mostly the truth for folks who believe. They just wished more people recognized there are greater things than themselves and that which is in front of them.

Some of the churches scattered in the cities and towns are glittered with gold and the weight of tradition. You can sometimes get lost in that game, but when you enter the house where feelings are released, you hear the worries and the thinking of people trying to be good. Those marble churches got a way of echoing old thoughts.

Those thoughts get forgotten as you leave the church on the day of worship as we start telling people how to live their life. We forget about the quiet voices that once guided us.

Pretty soon you visit enough of the churches and you start to realize we are much alike. We are all headed to the graveyard and most of the folks living on the other side are happy, yet we fear that which we don't know.

I best get back to writing so I can go out for a country drive with my girl. You never quite know where you are headed when she is behind the wheel, but I've learned trust is a good thing.

Hanson is chief writer at Uncommon Connections and can be reached at

Merle Hanson,