A Merry Heart
A Word in Season
As I Imitate Christ
Down Memory Lane
Ripe For The Harvest
Take It To Heart
The Parents'
Survival Guide

The Rhythm of Life
We Are The Church

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Church Living Stones?
By Fiona Stevenson

Hand-dressed stone, a warm, pale brown. So attractive, a tiny church stands on the outskirts of a village. The grounds are overgrown with weeds, there is no glass in the windows, the heavy timbers are cracked and splintered.

In the wind I hear the voices singing. In the swaying grass I see the children play.

My heart cries in the emptiness…..

* * *

A busy town. A redbrick church stands isolated in its grounds beside the school. Tall, pointed roof--the eucalypts cannot dwarf it.

All through the week, cars come and go, people saunter in and out. Smiles, greetings, waving hands and friendship. The lawns are trimmed. The flowerbeds are clean and bright.

There is a quiet welcome as you go inside. Everything is polished, nothing out of place. Well attended, but not full. The service is predictable, the sermon encouraging but without a challenge.

Afterwards we stand around and catch up on the news.

No one talks about the Lord.

* * *

A city, rushing and impersonal. A factory block beside the rail bears the name "Charismatic Christian Community Church."

Little movement through the week, but on Sunday the streets around are lined with cars, and they use a vacant lot for parking. Children dance along the sidewalk, people hurry through the doors. A spacious foyer; chairs and tables at one side.

A blast of music from the auditorium. Entering, you stop to accustom yourself to the darkness before you find a chair. This is high-energy participation, thunderous confusion, and the sermon is an invitation to return.

Afterwards we break up into groups, catch up on the news.

No one talks about the Lord.
* * *

"O Lord God, save us! Regather us … so that we can thank Your holy Name, and rejoice and praise You. (Psalm 106:47, The Living Bible)
FIONA DOROTHY STEVENSON, born 1937 in Natal South Africa, migrated to Australia from Rhodesia-Zimbabwe in 1980. Wife, mother, grandmother, and now great-grandmother, her greatest personal interest has always been putting words together to tell stories, paint pictures or just express a nonsense. If you would like to write to Fiona, you can do so through the Letters page of this magazine.