Stuck in a Steeple


The small country church stood at the center of the small farming community. Ivory BaptistTim loved playing around there along with several other neighborhood kids. Tim had always loved to explore and today he decided to explore the church attic. Because almost no one ever went into the attic and the entrance was very inconspicuous, Tim felt like he was a first time explorer of this mysterious domain. He had his flashlight with him. He opened the part of the wall that hid the janitor’s alcove where a ladder went up to the attic. The first chamber in the attic appeared at first to be pitch black. The flashlight exposed a dusty and thoroughly uninteresting space. He thought he could see a couple of small lights at the far side. These were made clearer when he turned off his flashlight. Going to the larger light, he found that it was an opening into the large attic space above the main sanctuary. The light came from a large stained glass window that let in light from the outside– an eerie mixture of colors. At night an attic light made the stained glass look beautiful from the outside. During the day, the daylight intensified the effect in the attic. It looked like the eye of God watching him rummage around. This window used to light up the sanctuary, but now only lights the attic since the ceiling was lowered decades ago. He could see the original ceiling with the old lighting mounts. After completing his search of this room, he went back to the first chamber and to the second light. This took him into the steeple.

The steeple had louvered shutters that allowed him to look out on the valley the church was in. It also allowed bats to freely come and go. Yes, they did indeed have bats in the belfry. He saw his older sisters, Anna and Hannah, along with some friends playing in the front yard and parking lot of the church. The bell for the church had a rope that went through the floor he was standing on and into the church. It was rarely used. But then he saw the speaker that was even more infrequently used. That sure gave Tim an idea.

Tim worked his way back out of the attic. He went into the church office where the sound system was. He turned it on and waited for the old vacuum tubes to warm up (Hey! So what if it’s old. It still worked after all). Once it was warmed up, he turned on the switch to the outdoor speaker (the one in the steeple). Then he went to the pulpit and started speaking into the microphone in a scared voice.

“Anna! Hannah! Please help me; I got myself stuck in the steeple. I can’t get out. Please get me. I’M SOOOO SCARED!!”

Down in the yard, Anna, Hanna, and their friends heard Tim’s scared voice coming from the steeple. Anna looked up and thought about this and muttered to herself.

“There goes Timmy again. Pulling some prank. I’m not going to make some fool of myself in playing along with one of his stunts.”

Hannah’s response was quite different. She ran into the church to the entrance to the janitor’s alcove. She opened it and started climbing the ladder while saying,

“Come on. We need to get Timmy! Can someone find a flashlight? We need to find a way to…”

She stopped as she heard Timmy laughing behind her. Soon the rest of the kids and Anna were laughing at her as well.

The church custodian came back from his work in the Sunday School rooms and asked what’s happened. After being told, he scolded the children.

“First,” he said, “Timmy, you shouldn’t be going up there without permission. It can be dangerous. If you want to see what is up there, ask me. Second, NONE of you should be laughing at Hannah. She was the one who risked her safety to help when help might be needed. To risk one’s safety, and risk ridicule to help one in need is not foolish… it is Divine.”

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