When you get to the end of this story you might wonder why I started it with this picture. Oh well, it makes sense to me.
Last Sunday Dusty texted me this photo of his family walking into church held in the Sioux Center (Iowa) Elementary School while they visited Bailey at college for Dordt Defender Days. For some reason I love bringing up the rear those times I get to walk into church with the Andersons and often take a picture for the great joy it brings. Over time this has become apparent, so Quinn thought to ask Dusty to snap this scene for my sake.
Today during team meeting we took a little walking tour of the NFC campus, stopping at places that held particular meaning to members of the staff—the sanctuary (of course), the social hall, and Room 100, where we’re heading in this photo. Out of habit I reached for my phone and took a picture.
Earlier, before our walkabout, the team had talked about our reasons for being drawn to particular places in the church. The sanctuary got the most affirmation; Denise remembered attending services as a young girl, those wooden pews . . .
Yes, this was taken before her time, but clearly shows the old wooden pews.
This is a more current picture. Even with a renovation about 18 years ago, the old pews remain premier seating in the balcony.
Meanwhile, about the same time we were giving thanks for the various parts of our campus, Susan Hampton was emailing me an ad for the Need Sheet, offering a twin bed, a small desk, and an old NFC pew.
Turns out we need a small desk for the new desk-top printer being delivered tomorrow! So I replied to Susan, she sent a picture, we made a plan for pick up this evening.
After dinner Mauri and I drove a whole mile to the other side of town to pick up the desk. There beside the desk was . . .
. . . the pew! Not the pew I had pictured, which was one of those orange-upholstered pews from the most recent renovation, still a dime a dozen.
No, this was one of the original pews, and perfectly shortened to fit in someone’s living room.
I took these pictures of it, thinking maybe there would be a place for it at the church.
Ha! Mauri and I weren’t all the way out of the Hamptons’ driveway when I said, “I think we need to have that pew.” “I think we do too” was out of his mouth without a breath in between.
Still, we drove all the way to the church, unloaded the desk, pulled in our own driveway—but not into the garage because we were calling the Hamptons to see if they thought we could be the next owners of that remarkable piece of NFC history.
Here’s the answer to that question. They seemed as thrilled with the idea as we were. It mattered to them that it go to someone who would appreciate its story.
I simply could not wipe the huge grin off my face.
We think this day couldn’t have had a better ending. I’ll be making a cushion for our added living room seating.
It feels so right.