At about 5:30 this morning I heard loud voices outside. I opened the door, and saw a group of young males attempting to exit the driveway of the abandoned church property across the street. One of them ran into the gate in the dark and nearly knocked himself senseless.
After it got light, I walked over to check things out. As I got closer to the building, I noticed a peculiar smell - something was burning. It turned out to be a pile of debris in a corner in one of the rooms ...
I ran home, grabbed a bucket and doused the smoldering pile with water from the nearby pond.
In taking pictures of the aftermath, I noticed several indistinct hearts.
But the REAL tragedy was yet to be revealed ...
Apparently the vandals' night of "fun" had disturbed the family of owls nesting in the eaves of the building ... and one of the babies had fallen out. It was still breathing, and was shivering in the cold.
I nudged it onto a small piece of carpet, and pulled it into the warmth of the sunshine. Then I cried.
When I called the wildlife people, they said that's all that could be done. Sometimes the parent owls will feed the fallen babies ... it may yet survive.
As I left the building, the early morning sun shone through a broken skylight - and I saw this cross.
I was faced with a myriad of emotions. Anger at the young people who caused this carnage ... sorrow at the predicament of the owl and it's family ... and joy at the cross that was revealed in the aftermath.
Then I realized ... isn't that what Easter is about?