Thursday, September 6, 2012

A piece of block away

The main sanctuary of the First Presbyterian Church of Anaheim. Gorgeous!

Sometimes there are undiscovered gems right under your nose. Or, in this case, around the corner. This beauty, the First Presbyterian Church of Anaheim, is just one block away from our home. The kids and I stumbled upon it last night as we were strolling through the neighborhood. I don't know how many times I've walked past wondering, "What does it look like on the inside?"

She beckoned us inside... "Come and see my splendor!"

You can imagine my delight when we saw the open door. It was as if the 140-year-old church beckoned us inside. "Come in!" she said. "Come and see my splendor." So we did. We walked into the courtyard and were immediately struck by the perfectly manicured lawn. Like something out of a fairy tale in an English countryside. With just a few steps, we were taken out of Orange County and transported into another time.

And the interior. Breathtaking with it's three-story wood-paneled ceiling, stained-glass windows, flying buttresses and wooden pews fitted up close. When I worship, this is the kind of environment that helps me connect with God in a soul-satisfying way. Perhaps because it's the antithesis to the pop-up style of churches prevalent, especially here in OC. True, you can meet God anywhere-- an industrial complex, an off-hours public school classroom, even an old gas station-- but there's something magical about congregating in an architectural marvel. Think about the Sistine Chapel, St. Paul's Cathedral and the Sagrada Familia. Why would man go to such great lengths to build these masterpieces? 

Looks like England. But it's Orange County!
  I walked away last night inspired. God, you've given us such beautiful imaginations, to create from our souls and materialize with our hands. Thank you for giving me a little piece of history. Just one block away...

You never know what's behind a closed door.