IN THE SHADOW OF THE CHURCH STEEPLE
Don Baker, who wrote Restoring Broken Relationships, said that one Monday morning as he was parking his car at his church, the owner of the apartment house across the street came screaming through her front door, saw him and cried come quickly.
When he reached her she was trembling all over and she tried to tell him something but he could not understand. Finally she motioned him to follow and he did. They went to a room up stairs. It was dark, the shades were drawn, the TV was blaring. Then, he said, “I saw her.” She was hanging from the end of a rope that had been slung over one of the living room beams, her eyes staring down at him. He said that he had to step out of that death chamber to get his breath and to stop his own shaking.
They called the police and he helped to get her down. Then he began to look around the room, and everywhere he looked, he saw loneliness. The TV was still on. An empty box of chocolates in the middle of the coffee table. A half empty bottle of diet coke in the floor. Crumpled cigarettes packs and stubs everywhere, all kinds of pills, mute evidence of loneliness.
He asked the landlady if this woman had ever been to their church. “Yes, only yesterday.” She had just moved here last week and she told me of her troubles, rejected, lost her job, claimed to have no friends. We went to church and sat together during the service and on the way back I asked her how she liked it. She replied, “No one even said Hello,” and that was the last time I saw her until this morning. That woman died of loneliness in the shadow of the steeple of a church