Monday, 25 May 2015

Taking Risks

As we travel
we glimpse different communities.
We consider
"How wonderful it must be to live here..."
but we look through the romantic tinted sunglasses of a summer tourist.
We gain no real picture of the needs and concerns of the community,
instead we see the brave face they paint for the world to see,
the flags above the shops,
the tourist attractions,
planted flower beds
and interesting shop displays.

Sometimes as we travel we get a glimpse of of something that catches our interest.
Like a spire.
We follow,
but what we discover is just a burnt out shell,
a damaged remnant of its former glory,
yet possessing a peace and tranquility that even violence and aggression cannot destroy.
I grieve for the community that was deprived of this place of worship,
yet I give thanks that this sanctuary survived such a shocking attack.
I remembered that there had been a fire, but I did not realise that the church was not rebuilt.
Slowly nature is reclaiming this building,
and in the process there is beauty.

Next Sunday is the patronal festival and they will have a service and picnic within the ruins, weather permitting.

They could have cordoned off the church. Instead you are welcome to wander around the ruins of the building, and imagine how it used to be.

Within the porch, one plaque tells of the fate that befell this church
while another declares "You are welcome in the church but at your own risk"

As I pondered on this I reflected
Should we expect to enter a church,
and leave unchanged?
Shouldn't going to church always be a risky business?