Monday, August 19, 2013

Stone and Stained Glass

So, following up on the Birthday Birthplace, here comes another phenomenon of light.
This site, now a part of Montgomery Bell State Park, is the birthplace of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. A log house is just down the way, a replica of the one where one of the first preachers and founding fathers lived. This chapel is not as old as the house, though it took me a while to track down information on when it was built, which turns out to have been in 1960. Not what I had thought! But still it's older than me.
It's a simple stone building, sweet and solid. If I were just passing by, I probably would not have even gone in, having been inside several simple stone church buildings over the years. But I had seen photos on the website that made me want to see the interior, and I did want a quite place for prayer.
But I had no idea what to expect. The photo I had seen intrigued me but did not do justice to what I found inside.

This is similar to the photo I'd seen on the website, except without so much of the side shots. So it seemed like a nice country church, a good place to pray, not likely to draw big crowds.

What I didn't expect was the windows all around and what light would do coming in.


From the looks of it, the Bible may have been original to the church.

(This photo hints at what's coming in the next post.....tune in next time....)

I love the way the light casts reflections on every surface possible, smooth or rough, near or far.

I think it's the first time I've been able to see through stained glass to the surroundings outside (the trees out the window, in case you can't tell).

When I was reading about the place, I learned that the man who lived in the house down the road, Rev. Samuel McAdow, died at age 84, in 1839, after losing three wives to death. According to the website, his last words were, in answer to a friend, 'All is peace, my work is done, every thing is ready; I have nothing to do, but to die; there is no doubt, no fear.'"

Makes me think that despite his being "rather inclined to despondency" throughout his life--or perhaps because of that--he must have searched out light and found it.

1 comment:

Lucy said...

Just catching up here, I am sorry you are struggling. These photos are just astonishingly beautiful, what a peaceful, simple place. I find it very heartening that somewhere like that was built so relatively recently but is so timelessly lovely. Interesting too what you say about never being able to look through stain glass windows before; it's true, they are usually above eye level, bringing the coloured light, and sometimes offering a clear line of sight to the imagery, but not offering any view out. How good it must be to be able to sit and pray right beside these like this.

Thinking of you and sending love and hugs, and thank you for sharing such beautiful things.