Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Flaming Deathtrap that Never Was

If I remember the story correctly, Steve and Marcel got it at the fleamarket on the Waterlooplein -- the crowning glory of the newly renovated Zolder. It stood about a meter-and-a-half tall and perhaps a meter in diameter. Gothic yet gezellig, it seemed to fit well with the feel of the new ministry space. And, if that wasn't enough, it was functional.

Our earliest church meetings were by candlelight, actually -- so this giant candelabra was more than mere ambient light. We set it smack-dab in the middle of the Zolder, across from the main staircase, with five fat candles casting their light up and about, into the dark recesses of the triangular ceiling. It was "European" (which, to Americans trying to plant a church in Europe, is synonymous to the word "cool"). It was beautiful. It was charming.

It was stupid.

Honestly, I don't know what we were thinking. We put a sprawling candelabra with the collective equivalent of about a liter of liquid-hot wax and five open flames directly in the middle of a room with exposed freshly-varnished wooden rafters, a freshly-oiled wooden floor, and lots of nice, new wooden furniture. Furthermore, in choosing to place it across from the main staircase, we confined the candelabra to the narrowest section of the Zolder that also happened to be the primary emergency exit! And if these factors weren't folly enough, I remember that the flooring in that section of the Zolder used to be especially springy -- such that anyone heavier than 10 kilograms could set the candelabra to swaying by simply tip-toeing within three meters of the thing! And we kept using the old candelabra as our attendance swelled toward 100 people... What the heck were we thinking?!?!

Ah, the folly of inexperience and idealism... It's funny to look back on those days now and remember some of our mistakes -- the things that we did to try and be "European" and "relevant." We've come a long way since the days of the flaming deathtrap that never was.

3 Comments:

At 4:35 AM, Blogger Jay said...

having...trouble...reading....
too metric...
can't...compute...

 
At 5:17 PM, Blogger MichaĆ«l said...

And now it has a beautiful place in our home.
Should I be worried by your post and buy a fire-extinguisher?

 
At 1:14 PM, Blogger Eric Asp said...

I think you're safe for now, Michael, until your "attendance" at home gets up above 50 or so... Also, I'd just recommend that you keep the candelabra away from the main means of exit. :-)

 

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