Saturday, November 18, 2006

North Christian Church - Lynn, IN 1909

This is a real-photo postcard that my wife (the antique dealer) found. It is a picture of the North Church of Christ in Lynn, Indiana. It was located on the corner of Sherman St. and Main (US Hwy. 27). I'm not sure when it was built but, as notated on the photo, this picture was taken in 1909. This congregation eventually built a new building to the north of town (in the 1960's, I think). This building was then purchased by my grandfather, George H. Polley who added on, remodeled and converted it into "Polley Farm Service", a very successful business in the sale and service of lawn, garden, and farm equipment.

My grandfather retired in 1976, selling the business and the building to a couple of good guys that had worked for him for years. In March of 1986, a tornado whipped through Lynn, destroying numerous homes and other buildings, including the Randolph Southern School, which combined K-12 grades and was located adjacent to Polley Farm Service. This building was literally flattened by the tornado, with the walls blown out and the ceiling crashing down. Miraculously, neither of the guys working there were killed nor seriously hurt. In fact, in spite of a couple of million dollars worth of property damage, no one was injured.

It is not uncommon for buildings to far outlast those who designed or built them. When I drive through an old town I always like to look at the names and dates that so often mark the buildings from the 1800 and 1900's. I live in a house that is at least 130 years old. It is a very strong, old tw0-story brick Italianate farmhouse that has seen many generations come and go. But nothing lasts forever on this earth and it is only by God's mercy that this old house was not touched by the tornado that angled its way through Lynn that cold day in 1986, less than a mile away. One day, it too will fall, though, of that I am certain.

Though we seldom consider it, Man's greatest achievements and most revered monuments are never more than a breath away from complete destruction. It is likely that from the pulpit of this old church, many people through the years heard sermons encouraging and exhorting them to store up their spiritual treasures in Heaven, rather than trusting in the fragile and temporary security of physical things here on earth. For we are all just passing through this life and everything we leave behind will one day fade, fall, or burn. This picture is a testimony to that truth.

As for what comes next...Life after is less a question of if there is such a thing, but rather where are we going to choose to spend it.

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