My wife and I drove from our home in Ohio to Kansas City today … our son graduates from college here in KC on Saturday afternoon.
We stopped along the way at an antique mall outside of Dayton, Ohio. I collect antique “early American pattern glass” mugs. I found four mugs at the mall. Two are a pattern called “Cactus” made at the Greentown glass factory: I’m showing a picture of such a mug copied from an auction website — this is not one of the mugs I bought, but they are of the same pattern and glass type (called “chocolate slag”). Another is the “Orange Tree” pattern made by Fenton. The fourth mug is an English milk glass mug (obviously not an EAPG mug) in milk glass called “Everglades”.
What else did we see?
Well, along the way there is a huge white metal cross along the highway (I-70). I wanted to stop and take a picture, but it was raining and my digital camera came with instructions not to use it in the rain. Maybe on the drive back. Why do people erect such things? It’s like those “Jesus Saves” signs, or the ones with a reference to John 3:16, or whatever. Religious expressions that (I think) probably turn more people off than they attract to any faith community. They are a major intrusion to the views of the countryside one is traveling through. As a Christian, I find them embarrassing. I think God would probably prefer that we see the countryside that God created rather than block the view of it with great big ugly sheet metal crosses, or sloppily hand painted billboards sporting the name of his Son or a biblical citation. God must find that stuff awfully disheartening.
There is a lot of interesting architecture, especially church architecture, along the highway. For instance, a lot of congregations have opted to use “Butler buildings” (quickly erected metal structures) for their worship spaces. I’m tempted as we drive along to pull of the Interstate and see if I can go into some of these. I’ve never been in a “Butler building” church — I’d like to see one. In Columbia, Missouri, where the University of Missouri is located, the United Church of Christ building is a round brick structure. I’d like to see the inside of that too.
Between St. Louis and Columbia (in a place called Kingdom City, MO) is a congregation which calls itself “Yahweh’s Assembly in Yahshua.” They have a website here. It’s a pretty sophisticated site, but religiously speaking there’s some pretty odd stuff there. On the other side of Columbia, in a town called Rocheport, MO, there’s another congregation calling itself “Yahweh’s Assembly in Messiah.” They too have a website – here. Neither congregation mentions the other, but I’m sure there must be (or must have been) some connection between them: they were probably together at some point, but then split. The story of the church in all its many guises — splits and more splits. God must find that very disheartening, too.
What I think God probably finds not disheartening is that there are good people along the road. We stopped (as mentioned) at that antique mall, at a truck stop, at a restaurant, at a couple of rest areas … and each place along the way we met pleasant, personable, and helpful people. God would like that I think.