The wintry winds have been whipping through the grove this morning, but the sun is shining brightly. It was just a few short weeks ago that Farmer Dean and I walked through the front doors of our little church, expressing our excitement over what was to happen.
We had worked as hard as two busy individuals could, in attempts to restore Frank Lake Covenant Church, now Church in the Grove, to its original structure. But one thing we knew for certain, the original heating system would no longer work! The two furnaces from 1970 were smack dab in the kitchen and sitting in front of the bathroom door. It was hard to have Bible studies with the furnace kicking on and off, and we knew something had to be done.
Thanks to the generous donations of our faithful supporters, we hired local furnace man, Don, to install a new, cost efficient furnace that would be installed downstairs!
Throughout the past few months, I have been studying the history of the church and its pastors. There are many moments that I walk in the church and think about yesteryears and wonder what winters had been like for this little building.
Today, as Farmer Dean is tinkering about fixing things with hammer and nails, I sat down in my favorite chair, with my favorite coffee mug from 1940, and focused on the fact that something that had been in the building for forty years would now be removed. Another change was coming for the building. It was a good one, of course, and yet … it is change.
I remembered the first wintry day that I hosted Bible studies here at the church. Ladies huddled in the pews trying to keep warm, while blustery winds seeped in the cracks and nooks and crannies. I looked around at the warm sunshine spilling out over the pews this morning and thought how toasty and warm it was now that the building had been insulated this past summer.
Uncle Gary came and met Dean as the brothers planned to remove the old furnaces. I watched and took pics as they removed the old duct work. Another part of history was being removed. There was a sadness, and yet I knew what we were doing was for the best.
As the weeks have past, Don installed our new furnace, the old ones have been removed and now it’s so spacious and the noise is minimal. Warmth is something to be welcomed and I am smiling as I look at the space and think that it’s hard to believe something was ever there.
Change is difficult. Planned change comes easier. But sometimes good change is what we need to relish in, believing that a good change makes life better. And today, as I sit here in the sunshine, thinking of the pastors and the families who prayed here, sang songs in Swedish, embraced hope, loved God, and served others, I believe they would be applauding the changes.