Well, I’ve got everything out of the study. I’ve got way too many books, I know that for sure. Time to put some on Ebay or something.
The process of moving them was much like taking off a bandage that the blood has soaked into and dried up, but taking it off very, very slowly, a little bit at a time. I’m a person who prefers 5 seconds of harsh agony to such a prolonged process. After the first day of doing that angrily and grumpily, today I managed to make the work a more healthy process. When I was done, I went from room to room, starting with the Library, the Study, the Lounge etc, and said goodbye to whatever hopes and dreams and memories I had for that space. It was a healthy, healing thing to do. Then I went into the worship space, and wandered into the pulpit… Only those who were at the very first council meeting know the experience I had when we had just moved here, and the unpacking was going well at home so I took a break to go up to the church to ‘get a feel’ for the place. Then too, I walked around, looking into every room. I spent time in the empty study that day, imagining meetings, prayers, visits, counseling situations and the like, while also considering how I was going to ‘shape’ the space into my own.
Then I went into the worship space, wandered around for a bit, and got in the pulpit. I opened the Bible and began reading aloud from Luke 15. But a few words in I was rattled, disoriented. When the space has no people in it, all sound bounces back off the glass right at a person standing in the pulpit. After finishing the practise reading, and getting used to that bounce-back, I spent some time with my eyes closed, soaking-in the sense of the room and the place. I was suddenly struck with a sense of doom and forboding, a sense of death. It was extremely disturbing and frightening. You don’t want that sense to come to you when you are dreaming of what is coming in a new church. I had to sit down and ask God what it was all about. I never did get a clear understanding. But after a significant time of sitting and waiting and wondering, I got back up and into the pulpit again, and there I was able to imagine the place filled with people worshipping God.
There have only been two types of occassions where one of the two or both parts of that sense has been nearly fulfilled. One is funerals, particularly the funeral of Raquel Waldren. She died within 24 hours of me having that dark experience. Tom Bomhof did the funeral, but I was asked to give the parting benediction, and as I did that I wondered if the sense of death and dying I’d had was related to her death, because as I was giving the benediction, I saw a church packed with worshipers, fulfilling the second part. The other times I think I saw the second part of my fore-view met have been the combined services with the Koreans.
In my first council meeting I reported what I sensed that day — a sense of death and dying that troubled my spirit greatly, followed, after a time, with a sense of a place filled with worshippers of God. I know I wrote out a report that I read at council, but I haven’t been able to find a copy back. I vividly remember one council member remarking privately afterward how astonishing that was to hear in a meeting. I thought the person meant the content, but on questioning they said it was the actual reporting of the experience that was profound. They thought that reporting it was bold, if I remember right.
… It all came back to me today, as I said goodbye to the same spaces I said hello to almost 4 years ago. Today I stood in that same pulpit, and I prayed for Mundy Park Christian Fellowship, and I prayed that she could one day be filled with Reforming Christians on a faith journey with Reformation roots, bringing glory to God. May it be so.