Saturday, October 14, 2006

IWU Homecoming


Indiana Wesleyan University isn't exactly how I remember it, but that's a good thing.

Aaron and I drove into campus and parked in front of just one of the many new dorms that have been built over the last 10 years. Bowman Hall, where I first stayed as a freshman,looks like an outhouse compared to the new dorms and other buildings!

The first people we recognized were actually our former pastors from Kalamazoo, Danny and Tanna. That was a wonderful surprise and we loved catching up with them. Two girls from the womens' quartet I sang with were there, too, and I was thankful to see them again. I really wish one of these years we could get a good majority of chorale/ministry team former members to head down to IWU -- it's so fun to see everyone!

Aaron and I really loved the new library and all the incredible features of the student center. Our favorite, though, would have to be the chapel built through the vision of Dr. Wilbur and Ardelia Williams. We loved how in the midst of all this "newness" there lies at the heart of the campus this simple, but majestic structure that appears to have been there for years.


When we opened the heavy wooden doors, the sanctuary was empty and with only a handful of small pews and then a large sculpture on the platform at the front. It was a rendering of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane. His entire body is literally thrown across a massive rock where he is praying in anguish. From the back of the sanctuary, you can only see his hair falling over his face, but when you approach the front, you can walk to the side and gaze on his pleading, pained face.

One part of me desperately wanted to take a photograph, but the other side of me simply could not take a picture in this holy, sacred place. I can't remember the last time I was so moved by an artist's work. It was truly anointed.

I also loved how very simple the chapel was. It's sparse in a way that frees you, makes you feel transparent and at peace. Nothing is placed there by accident. I wanted to go get my journal, my bible, and stay for a few hours.

We actually got to talk with Professor Williams and Ardelia later that day, and I had to work hard not to cry when I told them how much I loved the chapel. Ardelia smiled and said, "It really accomplishes what we hoped it would; it's a very sacred place." I'm so thankful for their lives and how they have completely poured out everything they've been given from God.

More photographs from that beautiful Saturday at IWU...

Carmin Hall where Aaron and I met (thank you, Kevin Smith, wherever you are...)

The Jackson Library

3 comments:

Holly said...

It truly breaks my heart to have missed the weekend, and most of all seeing you... my dear friend. Love you and miss you...

Angele said...

Ok, this has nothing to do with this post but I didn't know where else to put it...

if you like popcorn and M&Ms, you've got to try dry roasted peanuts and candy corn...I hate candy corn by itself but with the peanuts it tastes like a Payday bar and it's an easy, fun, fall snack...the ratio varies but I like mine 1 candy corn per 10 or so peanuts...most candy corn non-haters like more corn, less peanut...try it!

Dan said...

HEY Jeannie - I'm honestly not sure how far away you are from us here in Minneapolis, but I thought I'd let you know that Lincoln Brewster is going to be at our church this Friday night. If you and Aaron are interested in coming, I happen to know a guy who can get you in for free (hee hee hee - that would be me). Your kids are more than welcome too if you think they'd like the concert!

Mark Wilson is also coming into town tonight for his annual visit and he'll be at the concert on Friday ...

If you're interested in coming, you can find my email address on the staff page of our church's website, www.constancefree.org (I hate leaving my email address just anywhere in cyberspace).

Would love to see you guys!