The internet is forever.
The former church we now call home once hosted meetings for Alcoholics Anonymous, and about twice a month, someone rings our doorbell about 7:30 in the evening asking about the weekly AA meeting.
“Nope, it’s not here anymore,” we say, conscious of the lack of anonymity represented by one of us standing in our open doorway. “AA meets at the church around the corner now.” And we offer directions to the nearby Congregational church.
We have had to admit our powerlessness over old Web listings that continue to show our address for Tuesday evening AA meetings. If it’s got “meeting,” “recovery” or “AA” in the web address, it might list our house as the meeting locale when you drill down in the search results.
That’s one of the weird things about living in a former church. What with the belfry and the church sign, which I still adore, we look like we might still be a church, so no one can be blamed for knocking on our door. No one has shown up for a Sunday morning sermon, but we’ve also had a couple of people drop by looking for the Loaves & Fishes food bank, which was once hosted in our basement. We give them directions, too, not nonperishables.
I don’t mind.
Those infrequent confused visitors are beautiful reminders that our home was once a hub in the community, a place where people met and extended their hands in support to each other.
The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.