Today I took my mother to the Crystal Cathedral. It is a most impressive space and building. Even more impressive is the amount of money it took to get the whole thing going and running. I don't have the heart to tell my mother that it will be a Catholic church now.
Growing up my mother and I watched Dr. Schuller together. He was odd then as a TV preacher who didn't preach hellfire & damnation. He preached a message of positive determination. He also preached perseverance - tough times don't last but tough people do! Of all of the people of faith I admired, he seemed to be the best.
It was an odd thing to walk through this house of worship I saw on TV. I could remember how impressive it all looked. I can also now see how the TV missed the actual grandeur of the space. It's truly more impressive than it was on TV.
On the other hand, I couldn't help but notice how it was worn. It's been thirty-three years since its completion and thirty-six since it started its TV career.
The carpets have been walked, the seats have been sat, and the dust collected for many years. It fades much like all of human creation.
My mother was thrilled to have seen it, and happy to have the grandkids in tow. I was happy to have a hand in making her trip even more memorable.
I for one was impressed with the architecture, and yet unmoved by the pseudo-sanctity the emanated from this monument to an imaginary friend.
My children asked me what a priest is/does. I told them that a priest is someone that speaks to imaginary friends. I hope they remember this trip and that lesson in time.
The rest of the photos are here.
I advise anyone to see this amazing edifice to religion; make of it what you will.