An old window in a shuttered church located in Shelby County, Texas.
Our “Day” family forbear’s name was the first listed among the other founders who established this congregation in 1856. To walk the grounds and see it with my own eyes created such an unusual sense of familial connection to the past. One that I hadn’t conceived of experiencing when we set out to locate this old building. It wasn’t quite a feeling of nostalgia as this was a place I’d never heard of before and family I didn’t know existed. But . . .
There was something about connecting to the past that triggered a very subtle wave of nostalgia for another bygone season in my life—one I had personally lived only a couple of years ago. Finding the definition of this feeling of nostalgia lit a candle—shone a light on something I’d been feeling but couldn’t quite grasp. Ah, there it is. “A sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place of happy personal associations.” That explains it.
It’s a sweet and tender thing when we gently recall a pleasant day gone by. But it can also hold us back or deny us from experiencing new life if our heart decides to set up shop back there. The good old days, the best of times, the glory days, might even clash with our current state of being if we continue to wish for things to be the way they used to be. That is not future. That is nostalgia for the past.
Sunday reflections through a cloudy stained glass window can bring needed clarity to the day.