Wednesday, June 15, 2011


the church she had attended her entire life
with her parents and grandparents
who had also been going their whole lives
was a beautiful church-
stained glass full of piercing color
against soft white brick
welcomed any weary visitor.
she would sit in church on sundays,
her view from the choir loft before her,
and she would take in the light filling the room.
the light radiating from warm smiles looking up from the pews,
the light surrounding the melodic mixture of loving voices,
and the light pouring in from the stained glass that took her breath away.
her church was a church of the purest light...

and then one day,
tragedy struck the shining church-
waves of red, orange, and yellow fitfully attacked the soft white brick
and destroyed the precious sanctuary...
she stood outside and watched
as the brave men in heavy suits fought the relentless waves,
as the smoke became suffocating to all those around.
she saw the lines of sadness draw tight across her grandfather's face
as he watched his lifelong home burn.

she couldn't understand why her church of light was falling,
why the purity of her church was being smoldered by ash.
she was angry, hurt, and confused...

but then,
as she looked closer,
she realized the light was still there-
could never go away.

because as she looked past the wailing trucks,
the relentless waves of orange,
and the lingering smog,
the stained glass windows were still there,
still pouring out the most beautiful light from the piercing colors,
untouched by the hateful waves.
and her hopelessness disappeared...

because she knew that this church full of light would never stop shining,
and that they all would rise from the ashes still gleaming-

and they did.

The fire

*Go here to see my documented experience of my church fire


  1. the light that no amount of darkness can squelch ...

  2. oh wow suzy... this brought tears. not only for the physical loss your church experienced, but for the way you saw grace shining through the windows. stained beauty. this is exquisite.

  3. This is a beautiful piece of writing. The hope in it makes me hear Ode to Joy echoing in my ears.

  4. oh honey this is truly so special .. you have captured such loss and gain

    love your header too!!

  5. Thanks everyone for your sweet support.

  6. Suzy,
    Oh my gosh. I can't imagine, but the perspective and poetry you write with is so full of hope. You are right, the light won't stop shining.

  7. Wow! This is truly powerful! Wow!

  8. i live in the South which has been ravaged lately with flooding and storms, and many such churches have been damaged. it is sad, but it is not the end, not when the Light that really shines can't be limited to brick and mortar and beautiful glass.

  9. The light was still gleaming.
    Oh what an achingly beautiful image.
    I will hold these words close.
    (From one SuzyQ to another, stopping by from Imperfect prose today)

  10. I love the description of your church as a place full of light. Your poem beautifully expresses the visible presence of God in the church, even after tragedy and destruction. The photos are hauntingly beautiful.

  11. I had heard in Missouri w/ the tornadoes that exact same thing happened. All fell, and only a stain glass image from the church was left. Not sure if it is true. But what a magnificent picture! ~ Jen


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