Dobel Street

No doubt about it

People line up to tour the old gym on Sunday.(Photo by Ron Blake)

In retrospect, I’m ashamed of myself.

I have witnessed so many instances of what must have been Divine Intervention since last July and yet I found myself in full Doubting Thomas mode Sunday morning.

My brother, Brian, and I went to the Shield of Faith campus early to continue the cleanup in and around the old gym-auditorium building. Tired, cranky and a bit hungover from the previous night’s celebration, I began to question what we were doing again.

I feared nobody would come to the service and campus tour. If the former Holy Name community did come en mass, I was worried they would be saddened by what they saw — the dilapidated condition of the gym, for that matter, most of the neighborhood.

If that happened, the entire day would have been counterproductive to what we’re trying to achieve in the neighborhood.

Well, much to my amazement, Holy Name did show up in big numbers. The Shield of Faith community was also well represented, despite the fact that most had already attended at least one other service earlier in the day.

Every single one of 1,000 programs we printed up for the service were distributed. By the time the service started around 2:15 p.m. the church was packed.

As has already been so eloquently stated by many of you, what took place during the service was amazing. Some have called it a life-changing event.

It definitely changed perceptions — at least during the immediate hours after the church service.

As people entered the gym for the first time in decades, I didn’t hear any negative comments about its current condition — broken, dark, dank, leaky, musty.

Instead, I heard this quite a few times: “Look at the pretty Christmas lights.”

Minus power to the building, the Christmas lights were strung and connected to a generator to illuminate the entrance and the stairway leading up to the gym.

Seeing the beauty among the devastation.

That’s what I had hoped for; that’s what God made happen.

I really need to quit doubting Him.