From my point of view or yours?

Church Steeple

I saw this church across the parking lot of a Morris furniture store in Dayton. I was being dragged to go shopping for a new sofa that I didn’t want and I don’t really need, so I was in a somewhat goofy frame of mind. It’s how I handle my reality when I’m in a situation I don’t want to be. Everything gets funny.

As I looked up at this really sharp, point steeple and mused, “From God’s point of view, that is a thumbtack on a chair.”

But when the funny wore off, I started to think a bit deeply about why people build steeples on churches. It occurs to me that the best church would be built around this really cool-looking garden sanctuary so that when God looked down, he would see a place that invited him in instead of poking him in the eye… or the nether regions, depending on which direction he was facing at the time.

People build churches in God’s name, but everything about them satisfies their needs, not His. They reach toward the sky with steeples in hopes of being closer to God; they put the tower bells up high so that God’s voice can call to them. They line the inside with statues and gold candelabrae. (Lutherans also make sure there is a kitchen for coffee and donuts after the service. But they also put roosters on top of the steeple, so I don’t know what that means.)

I wonder if God looks down at us and thinks, “these people sure are a selfish bunch.”

This post isn’t really about God or religion or any of that. (If you comment about religion below, you are warned that I am a cantankerous Recovering Catholic and you should be prepared to suffer the slings and arrows of an unfiltered opinion.) It is, rather, a introspection on the relationship we have with one another. When we extend out an invitation, do you point the thumbtack pointy end out or in? Do we see ourselves from the other person’s point of view? Should we?

I don’t have the answers, but I now have the questions. I suspect that is a lot more than most people get looking up at steeples.

This blog post is part of a blog-off series with a group of bloggers from different professions and world views, each exploring a theme from his/her world view. This was about exploring the theme, Thumbtacks To explore how others handled the theme, check them out below. I will add links as they publish.

11 Replies to “From my point of view or yours?”

  1. ha! it does look like a thumbtack! I’ve actually asked different people what the deal was with steeples. Some say it’s to point toward heaven/God and serves as a reminder of the higher order. Others say it’s awful handy for when you’re new in town and want to find the local church – just look up, you’ll see the steeple over the roofs of the other buildings (not anymore w/everything being so tall)…that one seemed to be more of a bi-product of steeples, not the original intent. As for myself, when I go to a new town, ye olde steeple is not the first thing I look for – usually it’s “Where’s the coffee? And do they have a gallery and also a bookstore for me to peruse? And after that, I’ll need to find the brewery and order a Reuben. Do you have a map with just those locales highlighted? Thanks.”

  2. I wonder if there are churches in heaven – and if there are – is god attending church on Sundays? Anyhow I’m sure he enjoys coffee and donuts just as much as everybody else.

  3. God watches football on Sundays, with his feet up and a dog napping at his side. He works too hard the other six days to have to apologize for not being in church 🙂

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