On Abandoned Churches

I have this thing about churches. I don’t know why, especially since I identify as “atheist”. However, I like taking pictures of them, find old ones particularly inviting, and love finding places with warm, wooden pews, vibrant stained glass window, and a steady stream of believers, worshipping throughout the day.

Given my lack of religion, you might assume that I think an abandoned church is a good one. That’s not true. I find them horribly heartbreaking and sad. It’s like finding a once beautiful woman in the gutter, her youth and beauty stripped, and she’s there ugly, barren, and close to death.

I don’t know that I would classify the abandonment of a church as cool or creepy. I think it’s just sad. Sad that there wasn’t enough to keep it alive. For whatever reason the community left it, standing there, waiting. And over time, it became stripped of all life and dignity — parted out for money — or worse, left to decay in the elements.

A beautiful building is a wonder to behold — a testament to everything man offers up to show his love, devotion and adoration to his God. It is said that the art is divine and that the craftspeople imbued their piety and their passion into the pieces. Woven into every corner is the blood, sweat, tears, passion, pain, piety, cruelty, hope and inspiration of the creators for the glory of the ultimate creator.

I wonder what it means when man abandons the church. Does he then rail that God abandoned him? When it got tough, did he stand tall and support the church, or did he run, worried about his own house?

It all just makes me sad.

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