Stairs of Gawthorpe

Gawthorpe Hall in Padiham is the kind of English country house for which our nation is famous. Like most other examples, only a fraction of the rooms is available for public inspection. This might be for want of suitable furniture, volunteers to man them or parsimony on the management’s part. One such area, which I could at least behold through a section of wired safety glass, was the servants’ staircase. This was a spiral and made of stone, dating, I suspect, to the original, late-Elizabethan period of construction.

The main staircase which visitors use is far grander, but looks later. Pleasant and commodious, but not quite so interesting.

At our Basic Bible Study some weeks ago, we had a brief discussion of how people come to Christ. Some testimonies are very exciting, noteworthy and public, like Saul’s (of Tarsus), and some of the ones we heard during this summer’s mission week. Many others, however, are gentle, slow and unremarkable, not worthy of a chapter in a book or page on a website. Yet if one has truly called on Christ for salvation, in no matter how humble and ordinary a place, the end result is the same. Nicky Cruz, St Paul and those on the mission week circuits may have had more ‘flashing lights’, but they get to the same heaven as the rest of us. Just because your journey to Christ was less noteworthy on earth does not mean it is any less valuable or noteworthy in heaven, much as I was more interested in a plain, stone staircase, not the varnished wooden affair of which everyone else raved.

Zechariah 4:10, New King James Version