Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Weathered

Few things describe the impact of time more eloquently than the look of weathered wood. Weathering showcases a story about the passage of years, of many seasons under the sun, in ways that mere words are often incapable of capturing.

And when the original letters on this sign were removed, everyone could see just how much weathering had happened over the years. With very little difficulty, you can still read (most of) what this sign originally said.


I remember when this sign was brand new (and had letters). Heck, I remember the sod-turning ceremony before construction even started. And at 16 years of age, I worked on the roof many weekends, driving in four-inch spikes with a sledgehammer. I was there when the original cornerstone from the old church downtown was split in two and re-installed at the new location, one half reading “1928” and the other “1978.”

Fast forward to 2012:

A church merger has resulted in the congregation relocating elsewhere in the city, the building has been sold, and soon the name Brant Bible Church will only be meaningful to a certain generation.


When I look at these two pictures of the church’s interior, I am astonished by the multitude of memories and emotions that come flooding back. It feels like it was just yesterday. And it also feels like it was a million years ago.

I was baptized in this sanctuary when I was 17.

Five years later, I met George Mercado here.

The carpet-on-concrete foyer would be the site of many life-changing encounters with God through the youth ministry.

When I was 27, Wendy and I stood together on the platform with our daughter Jordan in our arms, experiencing our very first child dedication as parents.

And no matter where we lived after that (Victoria, Winnipeg, Los Angeles, Kelowna, Tijuana), whenever we came back to visit family, this was the church we’d go to.
When all is said and done, of course, it’s just a building. Seriously. The Kingdom of God goes on quite well with or without it. But looking back at these images as I write, I am amazed at the storehouse of memories that they awake.
It’s the goodness of God and the memories of many people that are the true treasure, but never underestimate the power of a weathered 34-year-old sign to remind you of it.