The Stories in Hallelujah Square
Sam Butcher thought for two years before choosing the subject for the large mural that is seen straight ahead as you come into the Chapel. He chose the theme of the painting because he wanted this mural to reflect his deep belief that within each of us is the hope of Jesus Christ. Thus, he painted “Hallelujah Square,” – heaven through the eyes of a child.
There is a little girl coming to the gate and she has a big tear ready to slide down her cheek; but the message on that gate is a message of hope, “No More Tears.” The little greeting committee has been commissioned to make her feel at home. The little fellow on the left is having his very first day on the job.
A puppy and kitten sit in the center to represent those pets that are so dear to us. The baby is crawling back to Mommy and Daddy. On the left, friends are hugging and above them an angel is holding crutches for a little girl that doesn’t need them anymore. In the center a man is returning to his family. On the right, a broken heart is being tenderly mended.
The fellow with his toolbox and toys is a man who loved his children and made toys for them all of his life. Now, he is making welcome toys for all little ones as they come into heaven. Many people have warm memories of a special person who made their own unique gifts that have become family heirlooms.
The little girl standing on the first step is holding her favorite clown doll. Coleenia came to the Chapel several years ago. She had never walked or talked. She was in her twenties but only weighed 45 or 50 pounds. Mr. Butcher was so touched by the sweet smile of this young woman who did not even need her breathing machine while she was being shown the paintings in the Chapel. He remembered that sweet spirit and when he learned that she died, wanted to comfort her parents, so he painted her here, dolly in her arms and standing like she had never been able to do on the earth --- a reminder of the wholeness that awaits us in this very special place.
At the bottom of the stairs, on the right, there is a little fellow with a bucket of suds, scrubbing the wall. This is Mr. Butcher’s brother, Ray who worked as a janitor for the public schools all of his life. Mr. Butcher wanted to show his brother how dear he is to him and give him a job for eternity.
To the left of Ray, Collette is pointing the rainbow out to a young boy, representing Mr. Butcher’s son, Philip. Colette was 14 when she was killed in a car accident. She loved rainbows, so she is pointing this one out, reminding us of the promises of God to His people. Colette died the same day Philip did, but two years later.
Philip was killed in a car accident, also, leaving behind his wife and three children. Mr. Butcher expressed his grief through a beautiful mural in Philip’s Room at the back of the Chapel. That painting also expresses the same hope that is seen in Hallelujah Square.
Casey stands with her beloved dog, Brooke. Casey had Cystic Fibrosis and was brought to the attention of the artist by his son, Jon.
One’s eyes cannot help but be drawn up the stairs to Jesus as He stands with the little children around Him on the landing. Mr. Butcher did not realize until some time later that he had painted Jesus in the center of the painting. He stood in the balcony checking on the composition of the painting, artist style with his fingers crossed before his eyes. He was delighted when he realized that Jesus had been placed inadvertently in the center.