Post on 15-Nov-2014
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DESCRIPTIONThis is a story I encountered during my vacation in the summer of 2009. I thought it was inspiring and wanted to share it. It tells about hope and rebirth after tragedy.
In the summer of 2009, I had the privilege of attending a service at the First United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City. My uncle and his family, who hosted our family reunion and have attended that church for the past 10 years, had arranged for our family to meet before the regular service for a special time of communion and we met in a small chapel inside the main church building.
We were given some history of the church. Located almost directly across the street from the Alfred P. Murrah building, the church was one of the surrounding buildings that was severely damaged in the 1995 bombing. It had taken 3 years to accomplished the renovation. And the church stands as just one small example of how God can bring something good out of what man had intended for evil. My uncle pointed out a round stained glass window at the front of the chapel. He explained that many of the churchs beautiful stained glass windows from the 1920s had been blown out in the explosion. We saw pictures of the church with a huge board over the front window and a banner which said Our God reigns and we will remain! We were told about how a piece from one of the windows depicting the head of Jesus had been found intact in the rubble. This piece had become the centerpiece of the new window. It was surrounded by 33 (significant of the number of years Jesus was on earth) pieces of broken purple glass from the original windows. Around the edge of the window it says The Lord takes broken pieces and by his love makes us whole. It was explained that, after the bombing, the church was blessed with so much financial assistance from so many different sources that, as of 2007, this fairly small congregation now owns an 11 million dollar property debt free. Which I dont think would be all that meaningful if the people of that church were content to just sit and enjoy their beautiful building, but they have used that tremendous blessing to bless others. We were told the congregation was at one time around 800, but now there were only about 300 meeting in that building. They dont see that as a bad thing, understanding that there is a whole community of people that Jesus died for out there that are just never going to turn into stained glass window kind of people. The attendance is down right now because so many people have gone out from that church to get involved in ministry to those in need or to start other churches, including one with an attendance of over 19,000. My sister and I visited the memorial and museum which had been put together to tell the story of the bombing. Individual stories were told of the
extreme human suffering caused by that tragedy, but there were also many stories, like that of the church, that were stories of hope and rebirth and the resiliency of the human spirit. RoseDQ 2009