Last Thursday, Misty and I traveled to Florida to enjoy a couple of days with Misty’s mom. As Misty’s mom continues her cancer treatments, we are taking more frequent trips to check on her.
That morning, the Fairlane building steeple was expected to be delivered and reinstalled. When I left on Wednesday evening, the crane to lift the steeple was already in position. I expected to receive a picture on Thursday morning showing the steeple being placed back into its customary position atop the Fairlane building.
I never received that text or picture. Instead, I received a text stating that the truck delivering our steeple had broken down and its arrival would be delayed. I then received another text stating the steeple had been damaged in transit and would need to be returned. I then received a text including the photo above of the bent steeple preparing to return Kentucky where it will be repaired and then returned to us. The saga of the Fairlane steeple continues.
As I looked at this picture, a part of me wishes we would have installed the bent steeple. I know it may not have been possible and I know it wouldn’t have had curb appeal, but there’s something about the bent steeple that intrigues me. A bent steeple might be a better reflection of our church than a perfectly standing steeple.
Why? Our church is made up of bent people. We have been bent by the sinful choices we have made in our lives that have brought us pain and impacted our relationship with others. We have been bent by physical and emotional health challenges that have brought us stress and struggle. We have been bent by financial challenges that have tested our faith. We have been bent by relationship strife that has affected our marriages, parenting and friendships. We have been bent by two years of pandemic, political division and the other controversies that have challenged our world, nation and community.
We have all faced struggle. We have all grown weary at times. We have all shed tears and felt the challenges and loss of this life. We are all a little bent from all that this life can bring. Yet, we are still standing through the grace of God. We are standing by the strength and hope we can only find in Christ. We stand led by the Spirit with whom we walk each day. We are bent, but we are still standing pointing to God in our community.
Our steeple will return. It will be straightened and placed atop our building once again. It will look great and many of us will be glad to have it back. Yet, it won’t be bent. And there’s a small part of me that wishes that it was.