Sunday, September 25, 2005

Pearlington Catholic Church


All that's left of Pearlington's Catholic church is this chipped statue of the Virgin Mary, standing atop the steps that once led to its front door, a tattered songbook resting against her feet. Behind her you can see the foundation where it once stood. After the storm surge subsided the entire church, torn apart, came to rest in the two-lane county highway that serves as Pearlington's main street.

A few days later, parishioners moved Mary under a tree nearby, and arrayed a dozen or so folding chairs around her for Sunday services.

My mom's always been spiritual, when I was young it was in a vaguely Earth Mother hippy way, as she gets older it's getting more specifically Christian. She's still not a big formal churchgoer, but she refuses to accept my atheistic ways. She's always telling me that I'm a real Promise-Keeper, and that God's working through me with my art, and that it's just a question of time before I understand.

When I was kneeling down to take this picture my mom said to my girl, "See that? It's like he's praying."

And she wasn't wrong.

3 comments:

VivaZoya said...

Not sure why exactly, but this make me weep. What's that old saying, 'sometimes the heart knows things the mind cannot comprehend"? something like that...

CH said...

I am crying too. I am touched by the statue of Mary who seems to want to offer a hug amidst all that destruction. Somehow, it is very comforting and might have convinced me that there is hope. This is very moving...

nembula said...

I found it ironic that the one icon from the catholic church left standing, slightly damaged, but still standing, was a woman. Like your Mom Clayton still standing and still reaching out to help.