Fw: [ACWDYG ] The Little White Chapel
- -------Original Message-------
Date: 06/18/04 20:20:29
Subject: [ACWDYG ] The Little White Chapel
The Little White Chapel
By Dawn Rambin
I love to go on road trips. It doesn't matter where.
One Sunday afternoon, my best friend Evelyn and I decided to drive
from our hometown of Phoenix, Arizona, to a gem and mineral show a
couple of hours away. Evelyn was excited about expanding her rock
collection. I was just thrilled to be heading out on a new
After a while, we turned onto a deserted stretch of highway and
passed a large white sign on the side of the road. It stated simply:
Pause, Rest and Worship.
"What's that?" Evelyn asked. It was strange to see a sign like that
in the middle of nowhere. What did it mean?
About a quarter mile down the road, we spotted a small white chapel
sitting by itself in a field. As we drove past, we wondered: Who
would build this tiny church out here - and why? We turned the truck
around to find out.
As we started down the dusty trail and got closer, we noticed how
small it really was. It wasn't much bigger than a playhouse, maybe
eight feet across and twelve feet deep. There were little flowers
planted around the outside and a little white cross was perched on
top. There wasn't a sign or any literature telling us what it was
called or describing its history. Was it in fact a church? Were we
on private property? Should we be here? Would it be all right if we
Cautiously, we got out, looked around and walked toward the chapel's
tiny door. It was open. We stepped inside.
There were four wooden pews, each would seat two people. I sat
down. As I admired the simplicity and the beauty of the little
chapel, I beheld its beautiful stained glass windows. A sense of
profound calm came over me. All was quiet. Still. Peace.
I noticed a plaque hanging on the front wall. I got up and walked
toward it. It was from the man who had built the chapel.
This was his farm. He had built this chapel to celebrate all of the
many blessings that God had given him in his life. He had lived a
very long and happy life, blessed with a wonderful wife, many healthy
children and a farm where he had worked and lived.
On the altar at the front of the chapel lay a guest book with its
pages open. Written at the top was a note: "Rest, pray, enjoy the
chapel. Stay as long as you like."
As I turned the pages, I noticed the countries: Japan, Israel,
France, Brazil .. . . people from all over the world had found their
way to this little white chapel.
I looked around for a place to leave a donation. There wasn't one.
This man just wanted to share his special place with strangers who
might need a brief respite on their long journey.
It has now been two years since my visit to the little chapel, and
this is my first Christmas without my mother. I lost her last year
to heart failure. We were very close and I miss her so very much.
As I was out shopping for presents, I suddenly stopped and the
reality sunk in. Mom wasn't going to be here to get her present this
year. She wasn't going to help me cook the turkey. She wasn't going
to look across the table and smile at me as if to say everything
would be all right.
I wanted to see her face when she opened up her gift. I wanted to
cook with her and receive her warm smile. For the first time, I
would spend this holiday without my mother, and it would be that way
for the rest of my life. I was feeling very alone and wasn't sure
how I was going to make it through the season.
At that moment, I looked up and right in front of me, on a display
table, stood a small white ceramic chapel.
Immediately, I was taken back to my little white chapel in the dusty
desert. Once again, I could feel the peace of its refuge, the
strength of its love. I recalled the man who had built it out of
gratitude for life's blessings, and then I remembered my own life's
blessings. Suddenly, I felt myself smiling my mother's smile, and
like the little chapel, I know that she, too, would always be there
with me on my journey through life.
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