For months Saturday mornings have meant “The Lego Jar”, a random sampling of the week. This week I could not find the energy. Friday was a long day.
I woke up Friday morning to news that our church building had burned and was a complete loss. My initial reaction was an overwhelming amount of emotion. I went into shock and wandered around the house wondering what I was supposed to do. It is hard to hear the words “fire” and “total loss” in a matter of minutes. That is bad enough. Then came the words “arson” and “intentional.” Wow. There is no text-book for handling this one.
I eventually got into the shower and tried to regroup. There are a lot of questions that need answering, but I wasn’t going to get them pacing around the house drinking coffee. I needed to plan youth group that night. We were not going to cancel because the church burned, or should I say especially since the church burned. God graciously opened up doors for that and we had a meaningful time together. He also opened up other doors. The media wanted sound bytes and they seemed to keep coming for more. What an opportunity to share the true substance of the church! I told one reporter that the building is important, but not as important as the God we worship. She seemed genuinely interested by that. The comments I received from another reporter asked the same type of thing. They wondered: “how is it that you all can have such faith in this.” I was able to respond with: “because we look at this rubble and we don’t just see devastation we see hope. That is what this season is all about. The same hope at Christmas is the same hope we have when we look at this — the hope of a savior who comes and saves us. So that’s what we look for, and that’s what we’re holding on to.”
It is amazing how such an event can bring so many people from the community out. I do not know what the path looks like from here, but I know who leads us along.
“Some through the waters, some through the flood,
Some through the fire, but all through the blood;
Some through great sorrow, but God gives a song,
In the night season and all the day long.” chorus of hymn – God Leads Us Along (George A. Young)