The Second Gaze – The Roof


I want to share something with you that I cannot unsee.  It is what is seen in this photo…

What do you see?  Where are your eyes drawn?  I deliberately made it a black and white photo to take out the different colors throughout the space.  So where are you drawn in the photo?

Until Sunday right after worship, I would be drawn to the stained glass window in the balcony or the brightness of the doors leading out to to the street.  But I am drawn to something different now and cannot unsee it..

One of our church members shared with me that when she looks at the roof of the sanctuary, she sees the braces of a boat in the trusses in the ceiling and especially in the curved pieces.  She said that it reminds her of how we all in the boat together.  It is that sense of “ubuntu” that I am because you are, you are because I am, we are because we are.  (Side note, I was sharing about ubuntu in my sermon this past Sunday) That is what I believe God has created us to be and especially in the church we are to be.  

In our Thursday afternoon small group we are reading a book called “We Make the Road by Walking” by Brian McLaren and in the chapter we talked through, he writes:

So fellowship is for scarred people, and for scared people, and for people who want to believe but aren’t sure what or how to believe. When we come together just as we are, we begin to rise again, to believe again, to hope again, to live again. Through fellowship, a little locked room becomes the biggest space in the world. In that space of fellowship, the Holy Spirit fills us like a deep breath of fresh air.

Brian McLaren, We Make the Road by Walking

In closing, I want to share two pieces for you to prayerfully reflect on this idea of us all being in the boat together.  The first is an image and the second is a song.  

The image is a painting by John August Swanson called The Storm.  It was inspired by words from Pope Francis in March 27, 2020 that juxtaposed the story of the disciples in the boat during the storm with the Covid-19 pandemic.  

We were caught off guard by an unexpected, turbulent storm. We have realized that we are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented, but at the same time important and needed, all of us called to row together, each of us in need of comforting the other. On this boat… are all of us. Just like those disciples, who spoke anxiously with one voice, saying “We are perishing” (v. 38), so we too have realized that we cannot go on thinking of ourselves, but only together can we do this.

Here is more about Swanson’s painting and the inspiration for it.

And then the song…Come As You Are by The Many.  I have been listening to this song many times over that speaks to me of the sense of ubuntu and how we are all in this together.  

In the Kingdom of God, there’s always room for more…more space in the boat.

Categories: The Second GazeTags: , , , ,

1 comment

  1. Beautiful thoughts and picture. I had to laugh as I read about the artwork “The Storm” as I just published Lost in the Storm this morning – of course, I wouldn’t have time to read your post until today. Thanks for being used by God so He could talk to me further about storms…and all being in them together!

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