This is the story of how I fell in love with steeples.
I was downcast and hurting when we pulled in to the church parking lot one night. The steeple was illuminated and caught my eye. There was such hope in seeing the brightly lit cross towering above in the dark winter sky.
That was roughly six months ago, and that’s when “steeple chase” began.
I started to take notice of other steeples and notice their designs and their differences. Some had crosses; some didn’t. Some church buildings didn’t have steeples at all, which I also found to be rather peculiar. Apparently steeples are becoming harder and more expensive to maintain so some churches aren’t adding them to their rooftops anymore. Also, the trend in multipurpose buildings as churches has caused a decline in steeples on church buildings.
Steeples have been historically a way of letting people in the community know where to find the church. But today, people find out about churches by searching the Internet (also church signs and word of mouth). Does that mean steeples are becoming irrelevant? I hope not. I see steeples as signs of hope, like it was for me that night, and as a significant relic of religious architecture.
The sight of the cross has many times encouraged me; other times it’s humbled me. And other times still it’s resulted in impromptu encounters with God where He has spoken or moved or given me a gift, like dew on roses. All of this I would have missed if it weren’t for the visual reminder of the cross and all it means.
For Good Friday, the boys and I hiked to the large across on Monte Sano Mountain.
It wasn’t much of a hike. The trail is paved pretty much the whole way, and it only took about 30 minutes to get from the start of the trail to the cross. The point was to discover this unique icon in our city and to experience being at the foot of the cross on the day on which we remember Jesus’ death.
I’m so thankful I can look at the cross and be humbled by the death that occurred there but then also see it as a symbol of hope and victory and grace. Let us not forget either of those this Easter season.