Today was a sad day for us. I received a phone call early this morning informing me that our beloved church was on fire. I wasn't prepared for what I saw. This place has embraced my family for the past few years. The community is beyond my description. As I pulled up to the church and the smoke was billowing out, I felt like someone could have knocked me over with a feather. The air was cold and biting, the smell of smoke was dense and choking. It was a feeling of grief. As if a member of our family was dying before me.
As I walked closer to the church, I noticed a large group of people standing in the bank parking lot across the street. There were about 100 parishioners huddling together. This is the church, I thought. This is the community that embraced us. This is the family that has been with us. This is the spirit that binds us together. And Christ was with us today. From the workers in the bank that kept us warm, to the brave firefighters that tried to save all that they could, to the Salvation Army workers that fed us throughout the day. God in all his grace shown through these people. And He will be with us as a family and as a community as we rebuild and grieve, and heal.