Chapel Street

It’s hard to find, but it’s well travelled, linking Main street to Marion road. It’s only two hundred yards long, and most people think it’s part of Marion road. Its sign is at the bottom of the hill, rarely given a glance by the thousands that pass it daily. Chapel as a street in its own right has virtually disappeared, overtaken by the two roads it connects.

There’s no chapel on Chapel, and I’m not sure how many houses there are. Only two are certain – the others are on its corners, facing High street or Main. Four driveways open onto Chapel, so perhaps there are four with a Chapel address. It hardly matters, except for mail delivery and voter registration. Yet Chapel street remains its own entity. A steep hill between Main and High, turning into Marion road at the light.

I don’t know what the kids walking home from school think about Chapel street, or the drivers heading to work. It’s a means to another end for most, a destination for only a few who live or visit its houses. And yet, it’s named a house of prayer. At some point, Chapel was sacred ground, a place to come into God’s presence, a refuge. When I walk up the hill, I wonder how often I’ve marched straight across sacred ground without a thought or a pause. When I walk down the hill, God’s beloved are before me, in their cars and on their feet. How often do I see them without really seeing them?

How often? That’s a sacred question. I guess there still is a chapel on Chapel.

 

Question: Does your town have a sacred/chapel street?

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Johnna

I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

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