By Dan Amos
In the movie Pale Rider, the mysterious stranger on the pale horse interacts with a small community of miners being harassed by a wealthy land owner who wants to strip mine the area they are working. The miners are struggling but one of the leaders is convinced gold is under an enormous rock in the stream by their camp. When he has free time he swings his sledgehammer against that rock in an effort to eventually wear it down and get to that
I don’t remember much else about the movie, but it came to mind when thinking about a stump. That stump in the middle of Elim’s north parcel of land is my gigantic rock. Underneath it lies the gold of a useable piece of land–maybe even a place to park more cars for those who want to join Elim’s community.
We haven’t done anything with that piece of land up until now partly because we didn’t have a use for it and partly because making it useable is going to take a lot of work. Some will say we need to bring in heavy equipment to do the work but because we don’t have the money to bring in heavy equipment, we haven’t done anything other than the clean up we did in May. But I am convinced there’s another alternative. We can chip away at that stump and make it go away with nothing more than some serious sweat and a few blisters. I’ve already said what the metaphorical gold is but there’s something more.
I do remember that when the rock was split by a giant of the bad men, the community rallied to the pieces of the rock and everyone began working on it. They were energized and committed to the project.
My dream is the people who call Elim their church will see Elim as their home, that we all will own the oasis at Elim as our own, that each one of us will long to cultivate the gathering place for our family and for others who need a place to come and worship God, and that we will turn that passion into action. Not only can we clear that lot, we can bring on an associate pastor to oversee worship and other ministries.
Meanwhile, there’s a hole growing around the base of that stump.