We’d parked underneath the Town Clock on Citadel Hill (downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia). Built by order of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, over the last six years of the 1700’s, the clock was meant to discourage being late for appointments. So, the prince commissioned it to stand atop a four-sided tower in order that townsfolk could see it from anywhere in the city.
Looking at it, I thought how disappointed the prince would be at the way tardiness has become acceptably fashionable today. There’s certainly a lack of appreciation for the sacredness of another’s time…but that is, perhaps, a blog for another day. I was just throwing out a little historical trivia…for whatever that was worth.
We were en route to visit the oldest church in downtown Halifax: St. Paul’s Anglican.
Considering the big explosion that shook Halifax in 1917, when a French munitions ship collided with a steamer in Halifax Harbor, the city is fortunate this church is still standing. Of course, it lost all the stained glass windows, albeit one.
Though it has tried to replicate others…
The church itself has some interesting trivia -
Each pew is a “box seat” of sorts, and if you wanted a decent seat, you “paid rent for your pew…” If your rent-a-pew wasn’t up to date, well…BuMmEr!
The Royals of England had their own pew right up front. As you can imagine, it’s in much better condition than the rest them. The Royals don’t tend to visit church much anymore…
But, while there’s a lot to spin about in that little bit of trivia, that’s not what this blog is about either.
Instead…it’s about a pub. An Irish Pub.
The pub sits on a corner just up about a block from the old church.
It was the sign the struck me…not the pub itself.
The sign read (or so I thought): The Irish TaleHouse
It sports a triad mission statement: Food for the body; Drink for the spirit; Music for the soul.
It’s logo is looped into three circles that look like a triangle.
The name of the pub rather stuck with me as we walked through the old musty church and around the harbor…so, I had to go back and get a picture.
Pubs and Brewhouses are so popular these days. Even little Pagosa Springs, CO has her fair share of them. The food comes highly recommended, as does the “brew” and the music. No doubt tales are readily spun among the clientele. My guess is that as evenings wear on, and the spirit and souls have been touched, the tales are grander (gotta tell ya, I don’t have much experience in pubs). However, many has been the time that I’ve walked past one on the main street of a town…and with that much laughter emanating, well, I’ve smiled to think about the stories shared. Undoubtedly, they are stories that make the spirit and soul soar with equal satisfaction…
Contrast The Church.
The church should be the best TaleHouse of them all.
Living water to parch a dried out heart.
Musical praise as a sacrifice to the Lord…praise that brings us into His Presence…and captures our soul.
Oh…but the stories. What has happened to the stories?
The vocal narratives that remind us of the Greatness of our God.
The tales that tell of how He still is active - the Hero riding into our lives on our behalf.
The inspiration that comes from hearing that God is still moving.
Where are the stories?
I’m old; and, though I came later in life to the church, I still remember when there were Sunday night services, and Wednesday night prayer meetings. I still remember the times when a pastor would ask for a word of testimony. Even then, there was a gap of awkward minutes until someone stood to speak. The awkwardness is scary. The gap of silence is a bit unnerving. It left us all wondering why we didn’t have a fresh testimony? And, it left us feeling guilty when we weren’t the ones to stand up and speak. WHO LIKES TO FEEL GUILTY?
Or…there was another scenario. The story-teller would go on and on and on and on… We know the type…the people who simply like to hear their own voices. The ones who don’t know when to stop their story, or how… That was HUGELY uncomfortable, as well.
So, over time, the question stopped being asked…and the stories have stopped.
They’ve stopped for those reasons; but, they’ve stopped for yet another. We’ve stopped looking for God in the middle of our stories. We’re not paying attention to where He is in the middle of our messes. Somewhere along the way, we’ve lost Him…and, His AWESOMENESS.
So, OK. I looked at the sign wrong. It wasn’t a TALEHouse…it was an “AleHouse” (you probably noticed that right away); but, I didn’t notice it until I started downloading the picture. Yet, it sure did make me think…and, remind me, oh, how we need one another’s stories. However, may the church (that’s you and me) be the best Tale-House of ALL!