Monday, August 6, 2012

Lines in the Tile

We toured La Casa de Oracion on Friday as Vincent, Alyson, and Sandra helped us get oriented. Sandra has been involved here for some years and knows it well. I loved hearing the story and seeing the space. Sandra told us of this congregation's history, and as she did, my attention was captured by the floor.

It doesn't match. And not only does it not match, but it is not even very close -- different design, different colors, and a dark seam between the different sections. If this were my church or home, I can't help but think we might try to hide that, going to significant expense and trouble to make sure the floor surface were the same. And, in the process, we would lose part of the story.

Those lines of the floor mark significant times in the combined life of this church -- times of struggle, decision, transformation, new direction. Each of those seams marks a threshold between what had been and what would be as God has brought about growth in so many ways. These seams help keep us from the error of forgetting that the present could not exist without the path leading to it. Together, they honor the past while pointing toward the future with hope and expectation.

Similarly in life, there are thresholds characterized by struggle, decision, transformation, new direction. It can be tempting -- perhaps fueled by fear, shame, grief, or even simply the neglect of nearsightedness -- to cover over those times, 
to redo the "ground" so that the stories of our past blend in with and match the present. But in the error of neglecting to recognize and honor the path of the past, we disrespect our own stories which hold significant line-in-the-sand moments that matter deeply.

I am reminded this week of such moments in my own life, and reminded also of what others have shared with me about their experiences, parts of the paths which have contributed to where we all find ourselves now. I am grateful for such history, and want to keep some healthy "seams" around to remind me to honor what God has already done and to and look toward the future with hope and expectation.

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