I have studied it each time I drive by.
It sits tucked back from the Interstate right off the Institute exit–a beacon for all passersby.
This church has been under construction for quite some time. Regally arched windows yawn beside gaping front…the face of the building is not yet complete.
And so it stands–wide open, inviting eyes to peer inside and wonder what lies within.
It never fails to touch me, this vision of this church under construction. It has become to me a symbol of what it means to build a church.
Open, inviting, beautiful.
A light on a hill.
Always, always the lights are aglow within.
When I am mindlessly driving home from work–tired, spent from giving of myself, all I need do is catch a glance of that incomplete structure and my heart fills with yearning.
It means so much.
To see Him standing there holding out His arms to me this way.
Last night, on my way home from the Casting Crowns concert in Charleston, I drove right into a snowstorm. The snowdrops fell–fat, juicy circlets that covered the road in an icy slush in no time. I was following Pastor-friend, assuming role of rear-guard as traffic crept along on the treacherous highway.
When we approached the Institute exit, eyes automatically lifted to that hill. Snow swirling all around, cars creeping along beside, wind blowing trees bent with icy dressings…Yet the warm glow of the lights from inside that church under construction penetrated it all.
He is my refuge.
My guiding light in the storm.
Mark Hall of Casting Crowns spoke to us last night about the difference between the joy of the world and the joy there is in Christ. His words resonate this morning as I listen to his voice singing I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day. The story of this deeply moving Christmas song is our song. We all have searched for hope in the darkness.
We volunteered for World Vision last night, stewards over faces of hundreds of children who may never know the joy of Christmas.
As I ran my hand over smooth pictures depicting these innocent faces, I was once again struck by how blessed we are.
We get to be that light on a hill.
We are The Church under construction.
Oh, Dear Ones, let your light be that warm glow that invites. Open your arms and be His embrace.
Today, the boys are home with me…snowed in…given a day off by the storm I drove through last night. We were out romping in that sticky white stuff at eight thirty in the morning.
These boys–these gifts from God–are mine to protect and love and give all that I have to. This morning I sit and reflect on the faces that I held in my hands last night. And I know that one of the most important things that I can give my children is the gift of compassion.
I was so moved by the opportunity to help this amazing organization last night. Won’t you consider giving the gift of hope this Christmas?