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My church...from a different angle

I'm singing a solo in church this coming Sunday...a song I've never heard before. I'm not really sure when the word "no" vanished from my vocabulary...I seem to be agreeing to just about anything these days! Although it's funny how differently I feel from the first time I sang a solo...it seemed like such a big deal...now, not so much. Solo? New (to me) song? Yeah sure, no problem!

My choir director invited me to swing by her place tomorrow on my way home from work, but I figured I'd get the book this evening and see if I could get a handle on the melody first. So I stopped into my church on the way home today to pick up a copy of More Voices (the song is #169 "When Hands Reach Out Beyond Divides" if anyone is familiar with MV). As I expected, there was nobody at the church when I arrived, but I have a key so I let myself in. I signed out my choir book (first things first because I am easily distracted!) and then went into the sanctuary. Part of the reason I stopped by the church in the first place was because I wanted to sit in the sanctuary...I love being alone in that space, and I just felt like I needed to be there today.

The ceiling fans were whispering, the building creaked from time to time, but otherwise the place was utterly silent and still. I walked up and sat in the front pew...and started to cry. (Not to worry, I'm ok, just have some things laying very heavily on my heart these days and tears are a good release for me.) Eventually I had to get up and go look for a kleenex...to no avail. Sigh...maybe it's just me but it seems like a church should have an ample supply of tissues on hand. I suppose nobody thinks of it, unless in need of one themselves...at which time, one is not necessarily in the right emotional state to run to the store. Maybe we need a kleenex committee! Perhaps I'll just go buy a bunch of boxes and donate them. Oh well...between sleeves and toilet paper, my tears were wiped away and I returned to the sanctuary. One of the things I discovered today is that the sound of sniffling and sobbing is really loud in the empty sanctuary...I mean really loud. So loud that I felt self-conscious about my noise even though I was the only one in the building!

But the really interesting and neat thing I discovered is that after lying on your back in the front pew and looking straight up for a long time, the vaulted ceiling takes on a whole different perspective...an Escher-esque feel, in fact. Hard to describe, but when I finally roused myself and turned my head, the big window at the front of the sanctuary seemed out of kilter with my *reality*. It was very disorienting and gave me the weirdest feeling for a couple seconds until things realigned in my brain.

I took this photo with my cell phone to try to capture the strange impression:


The part of the ceiling along the top of the photo had felt like a regular flat ceiling while I was looking up from the pew...and I was looking up long enough that by the time I turned my head, my brain expected the window to be perpendicular to that surface. As I say, it was a strangely disorienting feeling when it was, of course, aligned with the spine of the vaulted ceiling and not with the surface that seemed flat from my perspective.

This is what the window looks like this from the standard upright perspective:


I suppose this is not unlike life in general...often a new perspective makes a huge difference. Sometimes I think I need to look at things straight on more often...but then again, looking from a slanted angle can reveal something new, that would otherwise have gone unnoticed. Besides, if I suddenly became straightforward, how would my family and friends recognize me? ;)

Comments (6)

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Anne, I'm sorry to hear that you have some things going on that are weighing heavily on you. I hope it gets better soon.

I liked the photos you took of your church and your take on looking at things with a different perspective. I think it's good to see things differently.

Take care.


Oh thanks Kathy, for your concern. Motherhood can be a heartbreaker sometimes, although thankfully it is more often a joy! I'm so fortunate that I can enjoy my church anytime I want...in theory I have to give my key back when I stop being central treasurer next year, but I'm hopeful that will somehow get overlooked!


Some days life seems a little tilted and I suspect that Monday must have been one of those days for you. The slanted window seems oddly representative somehow. After a weekend of turmoil, I'm very glad that Tuesday brought events to cheer you. Bad days and good days - it's the ebb and flow of life, I guess. Just remember, I'm always here for you.


Thanks Lynn, I know you are. (That's the beauty of sisterhood, you're stuck with me for life! haha) I definitely give thanks for the blessings of Tuesday, not the least of which was the girls making me supper, that was so sweet and unexpected!

Nice post and photos. I hope you get to keep the key too! It's wonderful that you were able to have the sanctuary to yourself when you needed it.


Thanks Annie. It's such a blessing for me to have access to this space...I won't be giving up my key without a fight! lol

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