The little Ball City Baptist Church near the tiny town of Luck, North Carolina,
has been closed for years. Young people moved way from the community. The older
members died out one by one. But if you passed the church today you would not
know that it was no longer operating. The grass is mowed, the windows are
washed, the bushes are trimmed. If you looked in a window you would see
artificial flowers on the pulpit, a clean floor and everything ready in case
the church is ever needed again. It is all done by one 74 year old woman. Her
husband was the last deacon of the church. When it closed he decided to keep it
up in case it was ever needed again. Since his death his widow has carried on.
Barring an unexpected growth in population the church is not likely to re-open.
And if it does not, it will be ready anyway, when Jesus comes. In a way we do
all our Christian work in the same spirit, making sure the church is always
ready -- and making sure we are always ready -- for that day in the future when
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