When we were making plans to leave the old building and grounds we didn’t take much with us. A few things here and there, but most of what we had was donated before we left.
The one thing we did think to rescue was the copper cross that sat at the apex of our steeple. It was something we felt needed to escape demolition. And, it provided a meaningful symbol of our past. It turned out that the expense of bringing the cross down before demolition was too much.
When the demolition began we spoke with the developer and the contractors and asked if we could salvage the cross. They agreed. The evening after the steeple fell one of our partners from APAH helped recover the cross and have it delivered to us.
It was battered and dented. Somewhat misshapen with a green weathered patina, we took it back to our temporary home in the chapel. It became a symbol of the journey we’d undertaken. The twists and turns and weathering over time are born in the battered surface of that cross. It is as much a reminder of who we were as it is a symbol now of who we are.
Today that old cross from our steeple leans against a new wall. Its battered, bent, and bruised exterior bears witness to the movements of our community. It grounds us and reminds us of the lessons we’ve learned, the ideas we brought forward, and the ways the Spirit moves us to discern how God will use us as a blessing next.
That is something worth noting. Projects like this change you. They leave indelible marks on your community. We are not inclined to repair the cross or even shine it up. It tells a story. The cross is a symbol of what it means to listen to God yesterday, today, and tomorrow. As you ponder your own story in the midst of ours, what are the symbols of your faith together that will mark the journey before and behind you?