A country church burned to the ground last week. Flames billowed over its wooden spires in a scene reminiscent of Notre Dame. But while stone defended the Parisian cathedral, the timber walls of the Church of the Visitation in Westphalia, Texas, didn't stand a chance. Winds blustered that morning, fanning the fire and ensuring total destruction.
I only visited the church once. It was pure chance. My son plays football, and one of games last year was played on a muddy field stretching right up against the wooden walls of the almost 125-year-old church. I snuck away at halftime and found the doors still open. A church member was inside. "Only 15 minutes, please," she warned.