It can’t help it.
This church basement – like many others- is slightly redolent of kitchen gas
and old stone, soaked in ancient dampness.
It is what strikes me (the one with the sensitive nose), first.
I sit on a metal folding chair; the seat dented at all four corners,
rough edges pulling at my tights,
the underneath of the chair hiding the gum of last Sunday’s acolyte,
who was called to move from
Sunday school to Sanctuary
in a hurry.
I look at the chair in front of me and see
scratched into the back, this name:
Was it a paperclip or the errant tine of a mangled kitchen fork
that dug out our Savior’s name?
The tile floor is yellowed and cracked.
The walls are Mint Green. Powder Blue. Faded Salmon.
Two floors above, I hear the karate club working it out in the gym.
One floor above, the choir agonizes over Tallis.
And here- in the Vestry meeting, we
Work the numbers
Hear the reports
Dream of the future
And I see the hand of God
from this basement to the world-
Where ministry continues- hour after hour after hour.
We are strengthened in that basement.
We are taught in the basement.
Salvation is won in the basement
As God’s grace is freely given. And received.