I stepped into the cool of the church's sanctuary, drawn by the stonework, the over-arching woodwork, the carved oak pews, the ornamental lectern and pulpit, and the stained glass windows, shaped like arched doorways.
If icons could speak, those in this room called me to sit quietly. To kneel in prayer. To become immersed in the presence of the Holy Spirit.
And so I did, right here in St. Francis Episcopal Church in downtown Rutherfordton, North Carolina.
Then, when the time came to write about Ashlynne Rothschild's first steps into the church she would visit while living in "Testament" (The Road to Testament
Abingdon Press, 2013), I wrote:
The inside of the church was not what I’d expected. The stonework and
arches gave the sanctuary a gothic appearance. Short pews—hard and shiny with
age—formed rows of moderate length. The end of each pew had been cut high and
carved like rolled scrolls. A center aisle, carpeted in red, led to a prayer
altar of dark wood. Beyond it, an ornate lectern, and beyond that a
floor-to-ceiling stained glass window. On both sides of the sanctuary, dimly
lit by antique brass chandeliers, arched stained glass windows. Some depicted
saints such as John, Peter, Paul, Francis. Others shared stories our faith is
established upon—Moses and the Hebrew children crossing the Red
Sea, Ruth gathering wheat, David slaying Goliath, Jesus raising a
child from the dead. Jesus, Himself, ascending into heaven.
I inhaled deeply. The scent of lit candles and polished wood rushed my
senses. This was … lovely. Reverent
But this was only the inside of the church ... the outside of the fictitious church, her history and the cemetery beyond ... that came from another location in Rutherford County ...
Thanks for the beautiful description! Reminds me of a church in my family located in Texas. Were there cardboard fans in the pews? :)ReplyDelete