Sunday, December 02, 2012
Just Around the Corner
Yesterday I spent a couple of hours in a common activity: killing time until rehearsal was over. GramTuna and I were in Broncoland, and after visiting our usual haunts, we decided to go exploring. This morning we were looking for something specific, namely, the church TeenTuna has been attending since she's been here at college. We figured we'd find it, poke our heads in the door for five minutes, make a bunch of snap judgements, and leave.
After navigating the maze of one-way-streets that surround "Church Square" and driving past every other religious structure in the city, we finally fished our Episcopalian wish on the corner and found the right one. It was a bit of a lucky find because we hadn't been given much to go on. All I knew was "It's old. It's small. It's quaint." Not for nothing, but the wise men got better directions from a star.
With the five-minute plan firmly in place, we headed for a door and went inside, only to be met immediately by another set of doors which were locked. So much for stealth surveillance. Time to charm the gatekeeper, also known as the church secretary.
I began babbling in the hopes of gaining access. "Daughter in college.... sings here.... has made this her college church home... seems to really like it.... we just wanted to poke our head in and look for a minute and leave... don't want to be a bother..." Before I finished we were ushered inside and now I had to start my babbling all over again with sweater guy. Sweater guy who also happened to be The Priest in Charge.
I began my babbling all over again, but what I really wanted to say was , "No offense, but I really don't want to talk to anyone. I just want to look around and leave." Of course, I kept all that in my head, but to tell the truth, even if I said that, I don't think Father Sweater Guy would honor that request, because before we could say Christopher Wren, we were taken on a personal tour of every nook and cranny.
I had heard the church described as old, small and quaint.
I found it to be solid, warm and lively.
I assumed it would be just another building filled with stained glass, candles and flowers.
It had all those things, and they were indeed beautiful.
But it was anything but JUST another building.
It was alive. It was filled with the joy that comes not only from sustaining the people within, but especially serving the people on the other side of the stained glass. There was a celebration of laughter and artwork and stories and good deeds. And despite an introduction to their hibernating bat (religious affiliation unknown) there was an undeniably infectious excitement for all the possibilities of what comes next and what more they could do.
As I left the building it was hard to know if I was more surprised or grateful for what had just happened. On just another day we found just another building filled with stained glass and candles and flowers that happened to be where my singing daughter spent just another Sunday singing. It was just a chance encounter with just another person who spoke with love, conviction and unashamed joy that changed my perspective on just about everything.
It was just another Saturday that was anything but just.