Wednesday, January 21, 2015 and the Village Presbyterian Church steeple is scheduled to be lowered to the ground. The big crane arrives about 8:15am. As time passes various folks come from the church to stand on the sidewalk across the street. None of us are engineers so we state a lot of, “maybe they are….”, “do you suppose….”, “it looks like…..”
This goes on for several hours as we watch a large strap guided to a hard-hatted workman (or 2 or 3) inside the steeple. More crowbar loosening of flashing. More sawing and pounding can be heard from inside. By 11:45 most of us have wandered off to meetings, appointments, a cup of coffee, or lunch.
I am sitting in my car sipping the welcomed hot coffee when I look out my windshield. “Oh no,” I yell to myself as I see the crane slowly begin to move. I leap out of the car. Camera and tripod swing in the air. I struggle to grab some shots. As the steeple slowly descends it resembles a feather drifting slowly on the air toward the ground. It is all over before I can conjure up a rational thought.
Why did I spend so many hours hoping to catch this moment?
Long ago (late 1950s) Rodney and I stood on the lawn of the Norwood Park Presbyterian Church in northwest Chicago. We watched as the steeple came down from an old white wooden church. Subsequent weeks saw that whole building removed and replaced with a colonial red brick building. These many years later that church is closed.
That church was important to us in our early married life. This church has been (and is) important in our later married life. Somehow watching this steeple being lowered to the ground was a thread tying the two ends of our lives together.
This morning represented the vitality and hope for the future of the church. Who knows what the future holds. Change is for sure and I wanted to be a part of this one step. This event symbolized for me our understanding of the call to respond in mission and service on behalf of the future.