06 December 2008


I worked at the church for about 11 hours today.
It's Saturday; my day reserved for sleeping in and doing laundry and tackling the massive pile of leaves.

But everything has changed.
9:00 seemed too late to get started this morning.
There was much work to be done.

The building was abuzz today as people came and went from the building, offering their help where they could or gifts that meant more than they could know:
clean choir robes for worship in the morning,
a basket of potpourri for the office,
a pot of soup,
a willing hand,
professional expertise.

At this point, there is very little we can do. The professionals have to finish the carpet and drying out the water. Then we can think about where we go next.

But some things had to be done today.
The inspector wanted the lights down.
We needed cables and music and stands for worship.

And everything you touch - everything - a pencil in the office, even, is covered in soot.

It has embedded itself in my fingerprints. Even a good body scrub wouldn't get it out (nope, Katie, not even the Arbonne stuff!).
But I'm a little bit fond of that staining stuff.
It reminds me every time I notice my hands that I have been changed by this. It reminds me that we have all been changed by this.

One day we will tell the story of "when the fire happened at Immanuel." It will be in our books, it will be in our memories. And if it is to be told, we have to allow the story to change us.

I will see you at Tilghman Auditorium where we will be Immanuel.
God is with us.
Closer than even the soot in my fingerprints.


Joan Davis said...

Erin, mighty good stuff here. I especially loved the last two lines. When I was there yesterday I ran my fingers along one of the pews and was amazed that they weren't black. But once I got home and in the real light, I saw that there was indeed a little bit of soot on my fingers, and like you, I was loathe to rid myself of it, because it was part of our sanctuary. God being closer than the soot embedded in our fingerprints; what a wonderful word picture to carry with us!

Nancy said...

Love you!

Ferris Family said...

I love you!
I emailed, our handsome carpenter... Haven't heard back yet.

Pete said...

I love going back and reading your words over again. Your strength in these times makes me so proud of you.