The House Where God Lives

This is an undated photo of the current St. Andrew’s Church, which was built in 1919, after the 1918 fires. Photo courtesy of the Carlton County Historical Society

 Brick building, ivy-clinging

Nearly 100 years old

Surrounded by trees

Simple cross on rooftop

Red doors which remained

Unlocked back when

The house where God lived

Was true holy sanctuary, a

Haven respected, protected

By angels unseen…


The child wore Sunday best

Like everyone did then:  men in

Suits, women in nicest dresses and

Heads covered by hat, chapel lace.

It was a hushed-voice place

Of denomination’s calendared

Liturgy and hymns; sermons blurred

By Reverend’s soft monotone, and

The child’s whirring thoughts

Which lacked spiritual reference.

Oh, the quiet which embraced young

Soul who learned the Order of Service:

The “sit-stand-kneel-sit again” (in

Hard polished light wood pew) with

It’s reassuringly dependable structure

Made church comfortable, safe.

Even a somber silent distant God

Wasn’t as scary as home; He held

Things together in His hands, was

Sovereign, enthroned over chaotic world.


Much later, long after her family left

The small town and little church;

Following other churches of varied size,

Styles of worship, doctrinal statements—

“Church” became much less about a

Building or architectural vision.

(where bullets may zing as saints pray, these days)

For, God Himself had traversed galaxies,

Mega-miles, immense measurements of time,

To be as near-right-now as her next breath.

His Presence, Spirit, encompassed

Her with grace-love.  His Word became

Her pillar of fire in darkness—brighter, more

Warmly delighting than new summer days.

He was bigger than religion, far beyond

Doctrines, Bible interpretations preached;

He exceeded the songs, programs,

Potluck dinners; the regimented

Positions, postures of piety, prayer.


Unknown to her, the red doors

Which welcomed her at age six

Closed permanently in fall of 2017.

The church had reached nearly a century;

The handful of congregants still

In attendance were saddened.

That young girl who once called it,

The house where God lives, reflects

Back on 60 years and says:

“‘Church’ is Jesus—

Who is fulfillment of the Law,

Embodiment of God’s love and mercy—

Living inside my heart”.

©B D Royale/Winddog Whispers, 2018. All rights reserved.

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2 thoughts on “The House Where God Lives

    • That picture is the same as a postcard I kept in my Bible through all the years and many moves. I wondered if it was still standing, so Googled it–and discovered it had only closed last year. Lots of memories of being in the house where God lives….

      Liked by 1 person

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