Friday, October 12, 2007

Strange Dance

This Sunday our church is holding its first service in the new building.

Two and a half years ago my son found himself alone in our church. Other kids have trouble relating to a teen with an IQ of 46.

He heard voices.

He turned on the ovens and stoves in the kitchen.

He found a candle. He found a lighter. He went to a stairwell and played with fire.

We were in a meeting at the church. Our church elders were talking with folks about our youth program.

My youth was burning down the church.

Jeremiah was born in Haiti.

There are indicators he was abused.

Physically (there are scars on his head).

Psychologically (he thought we would withhold food from him).

Sexually (odd reactions when he was bathed).

Spiritually (he witnessed Voodoo rites).

Now we are moving into the $2 million building.

There is a beautiful cross going up in the new building. It is made of laminated beams from the old building, charred by the fire. The seared burns on the wood are centered, fading toward the ends, symbolic of the sins our Lord sacrificed Himself for two millennia ago.

There are a lot of mixed feelings about this new building which provides a superior place for worship, for our youth, for offering a resource to our community.

But it is just a building.

Though our family has a unique perspective on this I recognize how others see it. It is a wonderful improvement. It is an asset to our community. It is a place where people can more easily meet with our Lord.

This building will host concerts, and weddings, and baptisms, and services which will draw people together.

Still, it is only a building.

The real purpose of church isn’t a building. It is the relationship which springs between human beings (an odd little species on the edge of a rather ordinary spiral galaxy) and the Creator of the Universe.

That is a real mystery.

There was an interesting image recently on Astronomical Picture of the Day.

A survey of the galaxies which lie south of the axis of our galaxy of 100 billion stars shows 2 million other galaxies.

I’ll let that sink in a bit.

One direction from our galaxy we can easily count 2 million galaxies, which might comprise as many as 100 billion stars each.

We are clinging to a tiny ball of soil which dances about a rather ordinary star on an outer edge of a rather ordinary galaxy floating amid perhaps 500 billion galaxies.

I believe that our universe is is held together at the quantum level by an intelligent force. A force that appears to work in groupings of three. A force I have come to know... and love.

That is the real church.

This being, a being who works through trinities of the quarks within the depths of the fabric of atoms, is the Church.

I don’t understand the details of the strange dance my spirit has waltzed these past few years, but I know that the rebuilding of this church has at its core the growth of the Church.

Strange mystery.

The Creator of the Universe is interested enough in a soul among 6.8 billion to use his family to change the intersection of the souls in the community and Himself.


pecheur said...

Great article. God as Creator what an incredible subject!! I liked what you said, "I believe that our universe is is held together at the quantum level by an intelligent force. A force that appears to work in groupings of three. A force I have come to know... and love."

Presence of God with you

Barbara (aka Layla) said...

That cross is a beatufiul reminder of Grace. Congrats on the new building. Yes, its only a building but the real Church needs a place to hang out!

Judas Hate said...

"The Creator of the Universe is interested enough in a soul among 6.8 billion to use his family to change the intersection of the souls in the community and Himself.

EXACTLY!! And that is the Lord.
But you already knew that.

While Jeremiah's lower IQ may open him up to be susceptible to other influences, it also makes him a perfect conduit for Him.
With your guidance and protection and His overseeing, Jeremiah will be fine.

Whether by Jeremiah's hands the church burned down is not the question. It is however, why. Could be He needed to touch someone in the community and needed the new building to assist in welcoming this person to his house. Could be the old building was unsafe and through Jeremiah he made the necessary changes. Could be you weren't yet adorned with enough armor to protect you from what was yet to come and this was His way of preparing you. Whatever the case, it is done and you have forgiven him. He has forgiven him. Now you just need to forgive you.
"He will never give you more than you can handle in a day", rings through me. Some days, I feel so spent and overwhelmed that I raise my hands and say those words in question. Each time I do, there is an immediate calm in me. It is then that I know I could have gone farther, but succumbed to the pain. I ask for forgiveness for my shortcomings and the next time, I push myself further before asking for help.
I think that is the key in the phrase. He expects that if we feel we cannot handle the tasks He has given us in any day, we will admit it to Him and He will let us start again the next. It is when we think we have to finish the day alone and cannot ask for help that we sometimes fail.
I don't think He expects us to accomplish as much in a day as we think He does. We just have to give it our best. While our best may not satisfy everyone’s expectations, I think it is all He asks for.
And that's all that really matters, Will.

You are very strong, Brother. You don't need to be any stronger than you are. All you have to do is not give in or give up and He will do the rest.

Dear Heavenly Father
Please bless and watch over Will, Brenda, Isaac and Jeremiah now and always. Cleanse their hearts and their home and shine your loving light brightly upon them in their time of great need. Thwart the dark spirits that reach for them and fortify their home with your blessings, love and peace.
Help them to breathe pure air and speak truths to each other. Guide them in reuniting with each other in peace and harmony, love and laughter, thoughtfulness and sharing, patience and understanding.
Let them see each other through each other’s eyes. Feel each other through each other’s hearts. Become one through each other’s souls.
In your name, Lord, I pray this be your will and by your hand be done.


I love you, Will. As does He. As do many others.

We are all with you. And He is with you always.


Amrita said...

Prasse God for the new church building. May the Lord use it for His glory. The cross looks so beautiful

Pia said...

Beautiful, meaningful post, Will. You've done a wonderful thing, giving your son a home and a place where hope reigns. It's a dream every abused child hangs on to.

Judas Hate said...


Lorna said...

beautiful picture of the cross. Thank you for sharing that.

David said...

Greetings to an old friend.

Kathleen Marie said...

What a blessing your new building it. I love the cross. God must have thought buildings were important because he liked temples, which is what a church is but I do agree that you can have church, easily, without a building. We are indeed the temple of the Holy Ghost.

God Bless!

Felisol said...

Dear CS,
You and your family are still in my daily prayers.
You have this ingenious way of painting with words.
What if you made yourself a painting from Justin's deep felt, penetrating letter. As there is a balm in Gilead, his encouraging and empathic words must be the very balm you need.
It should be hung by your bedpost, over your writing table or in your quiet corner, or why not cry it from the mountains??
From yours Elise

Jada's Gigi said...

beautiful cross, beautiful hope