We were discussing how I felt about the worship team I was leading, years ago, at my old church in Southern Cali. My pastor at the time said this, “Kasey, this is why you wouldn’t make a very good boss.” I asked, “What? Why? What do you mean?” He clarified, “Well, all you want to see is the good in everyone, and that is a great trait to have, but…” He was referring to a member of the band that wasn’t quite holding his own-in fact, many times, he’d leave the worship team in a lurch on Sunday morning with last minute “can’t make-its”. It was tough, and I knew it was tough, but I chose to accept the situation because I felt in the long run it was worth showing this boy love rather than telling him he couldn’t play anymore. Not to mention, for the many times he bailed on us he also bailed us out. “…but, sometimes you have to see the writing on the wall.”
I’ve often thought about that pastor’s comments to me…Did I look at things with rose-colored glasses? Did I choose to look beyond what was in front of my face, the tip of my nose, into a blue sky with no clouds? How many choices in my life did I make because I thought the other person would change, or the situation would improve, or the weatherman’s prediction was wrong? And, how many of those decisions, albeit many leading to sorrow, ended up okay or downright awesome? Hmmmm, well, I’m not going to analyze my MaryTylerMooreness to death. I’m just not. I’ve lived in Pessimism, Sarcasm, and Apathy before, and those towns stink. Therefore, I prefer living in Hope where each day begins anew.
Two weekends ago the church I attended when I moved to the Central Coast held its final service–a beautiful sanctuary fifty years of age with a church history dating back 136 years. Stained glass windows blanket the entire face of the building telling the story of the beginning of time to Jesus’ death-each scene intricately designed and placed so that a passer-by doesn’t need a Bible to receive the message. The message I cling to even though life often makes no sense.
The reasons for the closure at this point are immaterial. What’s done is done. I had already begun my journey to find a new spiritual home months ago when Maycee changed schools. As I arrived at the church to play what would be my final worship set in this location, 150-200 visitors filling the sanctuary to say good-bye, share old stories, and put in bids to attend “their” places of worship, my drummer asked, “Did you see the windows?” I replied, “No. What about them, where?” “Ah, man, someone vandalized the church and broke out a bunch of the stained glass.”
I quickly walked to the front of the narthex and saw the damage. How did I miss it when I walked in? How? Was I wearing my rose-colored glasses this day? There it was, in plain sight. Damage. Broken pieces of blue, green, red, and yellow speckled on the floor. The wrought iron bars in between bent, and one whole pane in the front door knocked out (this is visible in the picture above on the right). The church’s last day. Who would do this? The vandals apparently weren’t finished as more wreckage was found later the following week after the church was officially closed. Again, my drummer called to see if there was anything I wanted out of the sanctuary-they were removing as much as possible in case whoever was doing this decided they also wanted to steal the church’s property. T- eluded that he thought a member of the church might be responsible. I cried out, “No! There’s no way someone from OUR congregation would do something like this. Who? There’s NO WAY.”
Of course, there is A WAY. Despite what my pastor said to me all those years ago, I do see clearly, eventually. Luckily, it’s not up to me to determine the “who” or the “why”. I know, however, that it takes a lot more than broken stained glass to break a believer’s spirit. What remains is still beautiful. And, even in the wake of something that has made my heart feel so heavy and sad, I also see Hope–all the way through my rose-colored glasses beyond the tip of my nose to the blue sky.
-Photo courtesy of Santamariatimes.com.