I sit in a pew and stare at nature through the glass walls of the Thorncrown Chapel, a tiny building deep in the Arkansas woods. It’s beautiful. But something is missing. Maybe it’s that the glass walls allow you to see, but not feel, nature. Maybe it is the cold glass and metal beams. Maybe it’s the lack of smell of people, old bibles, and wood.
The Thorncrown Chapel is famous on the Internet so I tracked it down. There are quite a few glass chapels in the United States but the Thorncrown is at 12968 US-62, Eureka Springs in Arkansas.
We arrived after services and were greeted with an imposing closed door. I opened it, unsure, and was greeted by a man who handed me a pamphlet on the history of the Thorncrown.
We went in and sat in a pew. I expected to feel…something, but nothing happened. I took a few pictures and we left after about ten minutes.
I’ve been in tiny churches and sat for hours, mesmerized by their presence and the feeling of if-these-walls-could-talk. But the Thorncrown had nothing to say. The Thorncrown was beautiful but it wasn’t a church; it was just a building.