This church in Cannon Falls first caught my attention as I drove back and forth to Rochester from the Twin Cities — a beacon of sorts — signifying the halfway point of my journey. One time I got off the highway to take a look around. Another church that looks more like a castle soon welcomes you as you’re heading into town.
I think I was feeling pretty good about Dad’s prognosis that day. I remember stopping at the gas station across the road from this church; it was a smaller gas station back then. I probably actually filled up the tank. I distinctly remember going inside. I asked if there was a local newspaper. The neighborly gentleman said more than asked. “So, you’re interested in our fair community.” I was. He mentioned the bicycle trail to Red Wing and the local Fourth of July celebration.
My husband wanted to move out of the metro. I said my only requirement was “good horizons.” I also liked sitting on a bench downtown that day even though it was Monday and the bakery was closed.
Years later, this building became more iconic as it denoted our exit from hectic commutes.
Something I read recently distinguished between “idols” and “icons.” The comment was about icons “leading through love.” There was no further comment on idols, but perhaps love stops at their feet and goes no further.
Back to the metro … There was a piano player I liked at a wine bar in St. Paul — I remember referring to him as “iconic.” He’d be impeccably dressed with a nice swoosh to his smooth blond hair that he wore kind of long in front. He would look up and smile and nod as people came up the steps without missing a beat. He was calmly comforting.
My current understanding of icons is that they bring you into a clear “presence” of who and where you are.
Listening to one of Pastor Dexter’s sermons from last year, I heard a powerful testimonial of healing at Mayo Clinic Rochester where the doctors encouraged him to continue “speaking life” to his wife. He talked of a “transforming trust” showing you your path. When he spoke of “the lily of the valley, the bright morning star,” those images along with the grand piano performer and the steeple on the hill appeared comfortingly iconic to me.