When I had to give up my job at the last church, 3 dear people cleared out my office for me, packing up books, papers, tchotchkeys. One item was a rather – ahem – interesting framed fake stained glass image of a dove. (painted glass with puffy paint between pieces of glass to look like metal) When I started at the church I became under the impression that this particular item was important to the church, since the image of a dove was part of its own image and in the imagery and branding of the church.
So, months later, when I found the – ahem – interesting piece of art (?) among my things, I suggested to my significant other that it was not mine and should be returned. He said he’d take care of it. I was still very sensitive about contact with the church. But the item languished among my things.
Then 3 years later, there was a flood in the lower level of my house and we lost a lot of items and had to go through photo albums and boxes to see what could be salvaged. Of course the dove showed up. It was ok, and again significant other said he would take care of it. It languished in a new spot where I saw it and was constantly reminded of the painful past.
So the dove made another move to my new place, having not been sent back to its home. One day, when a friend who knew the new pastor of that church saw the dove, commented on its – ahem – interesting artistic value, and heard its saga, she said she’d take it to the pastor to get it back to the church.
She brought the dove to the pastor, the glass falling out of the frame. From what I heard, I don’t think the new pastor thought the dove was the best artwork to represent the church and apparently no one had mentioned it (I’m paraphrasing from a conversation I was not privy to). I get the sense that the dove did not make it back to the church.
So even though I guarded it and feared dropping it off at the church myself for years, and even though I finally found a way to return it to its home, it may not have made it anyway. Just funny that it was so important in my mind and much less important to the community. So much energy I invested in it. Glad I can laugh about it!