There I was, every limb still shaking from the effects of the poisoning, head fuzzy with toxins, and barely able to read the map on our iPad. It was a low point, no beating around the bush.

I didn’t want to ruin the sights for my parents, though. I’d planned to see some great things in Inverness, but that just wasn’t going to happen anymore. There was a castle, a bookshop, a museum, a cathedral, and half a dozen other options.

The sky was dark with a storm sweeping over the whole of the western British Isles and Ireland. I mean, truly, weirdly dark. When we got to our B&B, the lady of the establishment joked about how it was like from an episode of Doctor Who or something.

Given that atmosphere, the depths of my physical misery, we went somewhere to give us comfort. We sought sanctuary, like so many in the centuries before us, in a church. It was the one sight we felt we could fit in along the way to our B&B.

It was a marvelous thing: since breakfast that morning, the entire world seemed to be spinning around me – not making a lot of sense. But when we got out of the car to stretch and we stepped into St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Inverness… well, everything seemed to stop. It was like the church was frozen in time and space, and everything that had been dizzying and disorienting came into a gentle, quiet focus.

It was a sanctuary.


My body was still recovering from the food poisoning and my brain was still kinda foggy, but somehow, the place granted me a form of restoration.

My relationship with God is something I cherish above all else in life, and my spiritual health is something which regularly gives me pause. Even so, even if you don’t have that aspect of how you live, there is just something about old churches… you might find sanctuary in one – even in the 21st century.

File:St Andrews Cathedral Inverness Scotland (4078781118).jpg

Photo credits: since it was so dark when we were there, very few of my photos turned out anything resembling presentable, so the above two were pulled from Wikipedia via Google.