The sun cast a perfect light for a photo shoot.
Fresh flowers were arranged in a vase and a cake looked pretty on a glass cake plate.
Then, before I even took the first picture I got the call….
There would be no blog post showing you my new white kitchen staged with the fresh flowers and pretty cake….not yet.
I slept in a chair the next two nights by my mother’s bed as she slipped away.
She was 94, not sick, had laid down for a nap and never woke up.
I am confident she is now in the care of our loving God, her Creator.
I haven’t sat at the computer or picked up my camera in weeks.
But now the waters have settled and I’m back to blogging.
My mom enjoyed my writing and photography….so I continue as she’d want me to do.
A few weeks before she died, I drove by an old church in my neighborhood that has closed the Sunday door.
I happened to see the side door open with a workman’s van parked nearby.
I walked in and he gave me permission to roam around and take pictures.
It was a traditional church with a long and rich history, but in recent years the evaporating congregation couldn’t keep it going.
Now an arts group has taken over the big old brick building that stands on a hill overlooking the city.
Soon, painters, potters, sculptors and other artists will fill this space with their work.
An old mural on the ceiling shows Jesus walking on the water.
My friend, who lived just short of her 105th birthday, belonged to this church.
She’d been born in Italy and remembered coming to America on a big boat as a little girl.
Winter and summer for most of her life, she walked to the services here in the heart of the old Italian section of town.
At one time, some one decided to paint all the angel’s eyes blue.
I grew up in a different town in a different religion.
I remember holding my mother’s hand as we walked up the church steps for Sunday School and Church on Sunday mornings, Sunday evening service and Wednesday night church too.
I am grateful for my church upbringing.
So many wonderful memories and needless to say, the spiritual teaching laid an important foundation for my life.
It wasn’t until all us kids left home that she began this venture.
That was in the 80s and early 90s when most churches still considered piano and organ the main instruments.
Today, less organ and traditional music is heard in the Christian church.
Music keeps evolving just like it always has.
Many church organs have now moved to unused spaces and corners collecting cobwebs.
My mother and my elderly friend were from a different time.
A time when you dressed up to go to church.
A time when church was as social as it was religious.
Our culture has changed and now I go to church in jeans and bring a cup of coffee into the sanctuary where no hymns or choirs are heard.
Simple praise songs, guitars and drums lead the show now.
I like the old style church I grew up in and I like the new contemporary church style.
I feel blessed to have the experience of both!
My mother died on a Sunday afternoon.
That morning I opened her curtains to a sunny day.
I found a radio station playing the old hymns.
She didn’t respond to me as I sang along, prayed with her or read from her old Bible, but I know she heard me and I know she appreciated it.
Just as sometimes I don’t feel God hears me when I talk to Him but I know does.
I just know.
And when the artists in the old church create their work that flows out of their hearts with passion, may they somehow know that the Great Artist who created beauty and gave them their talent, never left the building.
Maybe they’ll just know it.
LET YOUR MUSIC AND YOUR ART BE YOUR WORSHIP.