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Prayer Room, 03/13/11, Memphis, TN

Last night the bed broke. A joint in the fold up frame broke so it would not support the corner of the air mattress.

I walk downstairs. Morning coffee with Savannah. We talk quite the while  (or I talk and Savannah is kind enough to listen)… I forget this is Sunday, Philip is at church in the worship band and we are suppose to be leaving for the 11:11 service – it is 11am – what a goof I am, I forgot, no wonder Savannah is antsy.

Savannah parks the car next to Philip’s car in the Belvue Baptist http://www.bellevue.org/ complex parking lot.

Entering the church I flash back to my stay at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville.

The message is good gospel and enjoyable in the large auditorium.

After service I am taken to the consecrated space – the prayer room that was built for reflection and contemplation. Though it is not what I would consider “effective”, it serve as a good example to the question (“why didn’t they consult an artist when they set out to build this?”). I am told it is useful for the people who pray here and use the space know this to be set apart and treat it as such. So much for my idea of effective. Still, I would not step into this room and feel inclined to go to my knees for any period of time. Am I hyper sensitive or elitist, or have I become a consecrated space snob? Maybe. But I would argue, why stop short of excellence… there is no “art” to the place – no natural light, no darkness, no intimacy, nothing human… for crying out loud, the stained glass window is on an interior wall (no sun shines through to illuminate it) and the exterior windows are clear and open to a wall/courtyard…and the little satellite prayer rooms are office cubicles more or less – plain, with provided post-its of prayers to reflect on.

I can think of several changes that at the time of building would barely have cost much more to build into the existing scheme and yet  would have added profound change toward contemplative meaning and resonance… certainly a good example though of what not to do with one’s money … and I do wonder what a church of this size could have done for its congregation… Pastor Zach mentioned in his sermon opening  that this is a generation of believers who’s interest is to the world (as in missionary interest) than it is to a building. It shows.

“One man’s pleasure is another man’s poison”, I guess (or however that saying goes.

Delicious lunch back at the house, Savannah makes Mexican pulled chicken taco/burritos. Savannah also makes a chocolate brownie peanut butter cheese cake delight. ooooo-la-la. While it is baking, Philip and I go to Lowes to get gorilla glue so I can try to repair the bed frame joint.

wk_s_photo Gorilla glue does not work in this case, nor does Crazy Glue.

Downstairs, again, we all talk, I work on my IAM note – hoping to conclude those in another couple days. The farther I get from the time of the IAM conference, the harder it is to read my notes. . Philip and Savannah nap in the living room sofas before Philip leaves to play guitar at the evening service. Savannah and I stay and talk in the kitchen.

Dinner at Huey’s Hamburgers. A fun band is playing – we enjoy the bass player as he is really into it. Country versions of the Stone’s Dead Flowers and a jamming version of The Band’s Up On Cripple Creek are absorbing. wk_p_2011-03-13-21-10-47_edit0

Back at home for some of that desert Savannah made and some tea – lot’s of talk until we all are sleepy.

Nothing in the world gets solved.

My mattress is on the floor, solid and secure.

Things are worse in Japan.

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