Where Faith Grows

Just before Christmas, my husband and I traveled to Oklahoma and found ourselves in the tiny town of Crescent,  with a population of a mere 1300.  It’s the kind of town that makes you wonder how people ended up there, with its antiquated main street storefronts and rundown houses. At a glance, the word that comes to mind is, desolate, but beneath the surface lies strong roots of community and of faith.

In the place we were staying, Just across the street, adjacent to an empty lot, is a tiny clapboard house serving as a makeshift church. It reminded me of the marvel of a dandelion growing in the crack of a sidewalk or a tree on the side of a rocky cliff.  Just as life itself finds even the smallest of things to cling to in even the most barren of places or harshest environments, finds a way to grow, survive…and so does faith.

That Sunday morning, cars lined the street out front and a song of praise drifted through the air.

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Mt Vernon Methodist Worship Center

I’m reminded too of the Coptic Christian’s throughout the middle east, in places like Egypt, persecuted yet bear the tattooed cross on their wrist or hand, an indelible mark of their faith and a 700 year old tradition of survival in hostile lands.

Also, in the Soviet Union, underground churches survived, some preaching for nearly 70 years with nothing more than a single page from the bible in such an environment were  even The Soviet Constitution of 1977 contained a requirement for parents to raise their children as atheists.  It was legally possible to deprive parents of their children if they failed to raise them as atheists yet faith clung.

I took account of all the ease and freedom that we have become so impervious to, so easily take for granted, squander.  I wonder if it’s the struggle for survival itself that gives them such strong roots, roots that hold even in the most barren of places?  And, whether our roots would be strong enough to hold.

 

 

 

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4 comments

  1. I love stories about churches like this but then I always see the flip side to it as well – the church that has been up for close to 80 years and is slowly dying out because of leadership. Or churches that have the ultimate freedom but still hold so close to antiquated ideas of what a member needs to look like/act like and turn away those who are really seeking grace. Then these little churches that thrive in small communities or persecuted churches pop up and always fill me with hope.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow, great points. I could write an entire post, possibly novel, on these exact thoughts…..the results that come from our nature. We don’t value what comes too easily, dont cherish what’s free etc, we only appreciate things when we are challenged for them, denied them etc.

      Liked by 2 people

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