For a couple of years (or maybe only one year--again, I lose track of time), we've had an empty church building here in The Woodlands. I assume the previous occupants moved into bigger accommodations, although I do not know this for a fact. Recently, a different church--one that had been meeting at a local high school--took up residence in the vacant building.
When this "new" church met at the high school, each Sunday someone on staff would hang out a big banner advertising its presence. The banner consisted of two lines of text: "Spirit Filled" and then "Celebration Church."
My observations on this:
1. It's weird to see a For Sale sign in front of a church.
2. It's weird to see a temporary banner advertising the meeting place of another church.
3. "Spirit Filled" should probably be hyphenated.
Now, guess which of those three observations keeps me up at night.
Yes, the hyphen. As if we needed more proof that I am not right in the head. But it drives me to distraction. Where is the hyphen? And note, I say that it should "probably" be hyphenated. It depends on what the church is trying to convey.
Is the intent to suggest that the holy spirit actually filled this church at some point in the past? In this case, the hyphen is not necessary, because "spirit" is a noun and "filled" is a verb. In other words, "Last Tuesday, the spirit filled Celebration Church."
Or, is "spirit filled" intended to describe the church itself? If so, it is a compound adjective and does require a hyphen. As in, "Celebration Church is so engaging, it is positively spirit-filled."
I suspect it is the second possibility; that "spirit filled" is intended to describe the church. Now that the church is in its permanent location, an engraved, granite sign has replaced the banner. Still no hyphen. I really wish someone had asked me before they spent all that money.
And then, of course there is the obvious and much more pressing question: Why do I care?
I don't know. But I'm pretty sure it's simply my nature. I could no more ignore the issue of that hyphen than my dog can walk through the kitchen without dragging her nose along the edge of the counter. We are simply drawn to it.
And that is what will probably keep me up tonight. Because something must.