Frankincense was used for incense in the Hebrew sacrificial and offering ceremonies, and it has a sweet smell.
Reverence and expectation fill the sanctuary. I take a seat on a pew and trace the prominent grain of its oak with my forefinger. A candle fidgets nearby, flickering kerosene faintly from its flame. Sunlight prances through a stained-glass window that portrays a shepherd holding one sheep in his arms with another following afoot. “Hold me now,” I whisper. “I am that lamb. Tiny. Broken. Needy.” Woody notes from the pipe organ climax in a crescendo of crashing waves, kissing the shore of my sandy heart and carrying a week’s-worth of offensive images and words away in their undertow. I exhale. The minister steps forward to lead the congregation in…