Tower of Prayer

The Ocala Tower of Prayer on Highway 484 south of Ocala.  I passed this going home from Mount Dora last spring, and meant to take a picture the next time I went that way.  But returning from my father's funeral in Eustis over Thanksgiving weekend, I didn't want to stop on the busy road near Interstate 75.  Back in Tallahassee, I took a screenshot of it in Google Street View.

I keep returning to this picture of a sun-bleached house trailer with a wheelchair ramp.  I can believe that God might be found there, as in a barn in Bethlehem.  It reminds me of novelist Frederick Buechner's character, Leo Bebb, with his Church of Holy Love, Inc. in Armadillo, Florida.

I have always felt affection for one-off, "mom & pop" churches: the tabernacles, temples and ministries of Truth, of Praise, of Miracles, that you find especially in the South, down country roads and in strip-mall storefronts.  Maybe because my own call to faith as a boy was so solitary, neither encouraged nor sanctioned by any fellowship.  Just me and Billy Graham.  What a long, long road it was to Rome.