Why oh why Father did you choose this time to call us to restore your holy temple? It feels unfair at times. Our Faith is being tested. I have called this Restoration a sermon in a previous post. I now see it as even more. I now see it also as being a metaphor for our current lives.
The Cathedral these days is a far cry from its former glory. No longer is it the awe inspiring building, the ship of souls my sister called it, the beautiful place where Psalms were chanted, sermons delivered and the Gospel proclaimed. It is now an unsightly, messy and slightly dangerous construction site. A place where some rotten pieces of wood have been replaced but we are waiting to install a great many more new pieces. Our shipments have been delayed by hurricanes and tropical storms that have mercifully missed us. We have a little less than half the roof on and will be starting the work on the the rest at the peak of the hurricane season.
The Cathedral looks battered and bruised and the feeling you get sometimes when you stand inside is, will it ever come back?
|The Sanctuary before|
|The Sanctuary now|
But aren't our lives much like that? Weren't we just a few scant years ago, paying our bills, planning vacations and enjoying a few luxuries. We all wanted more and while there was suffering and terror in the world, we were confident about our future. Now how are we doing? Cost of living is up. Gasoline prices have gone through the roof. Businesses are closing. More and more people are out of work. House foreclosures are spreading like a virus and car repo men are very, very busy. And the news around the world is bleak. The governments of major countries are reporting financial crises that threaten to affect the entire world.
Our lives look battered and bruised and the feeling you get sometimes when you look at it is, will it ever come back?
The scariest notion for me about these two scenarios is, are our darkest days behind us? I have been through a few hurricanes and the hardest thing to deal with while you are in the middle of the storm is wondering if the worst of the storm has come. As the storm rages, and even as you survive its ravages, you cannot help but wonder, how much more you can endure. Are you just seconds from a catastrophe. And the truth is, until the winds start to ever so slowly abate, until the timbers break and the roof peels away like the top of a sardine can, you will never ever know. But when you look back and you look down you will see you made it through, you will see "one set of footprints in the sand" and you will know who carried you through.
I dream, I hope, I believe and I know that one day this restoration will be over. The awe inspiring glory of the Cathedral will come back. Sermons will be preached, Psalms will be chanted and the Gospel will be proclaimed. Economies will recover, new businesses will open, people will return to work and we will start looking forward to our future. We will make it through and we will look down and see one set of footprints in the sand and we will know who carried us through. Amen.