I know people matter so much more than buildings. And I am so relieved that there are no fatalities. Extremely thankful for all the brave firefighters and moved by people praying, crying and singing hymns straight through their powerlessness and grief. I know that the “church” is really the “people.” It could have been so much worse. There is horrific suffering taking place all over the world all the time- which is far worse.
And yet: watching in real time, the partial death of this beautiful, meaningful place unfold on television felt surreal and tragic. Roaring flames engulfing something so significant to so many. Irreversible, irreplaceable damage.
I’m supposed to be working on Holy Week things. But all that “stuff” will work out like it always does. This is now part of our Holy Week too.
I have held on to these photos from our trip almost 3 years ago, to use in a future post, but then I started getting busy with work and life and, and, and…
Maybe now is a good time. Notre Dame is a magical place for me, as it is for so many. One family member who had been there before told me, “The moment you enter Notre Dame you just want to fall on your knees… and weep.” So true. That is exactly the impact it had. It overcomes you. It is bigger than you in every way. Whether it connects deeply spiritually, or it captivates you with the immense beauty, artistry and craftsmanship of it all….it is awe-inspiring. For me, it felt sacred, mysterious. Even while I was taking pictures, it felt more like a kind of mesmerized “seeing.”
I will never forget the glow on our children’s faces as we all lit candles; and how we all wrote something in the big guest/ prayer book. Seeing their faces tilted up to something amazing. The awe we felt for the beauty, history and significance of such a monument. I am so thankful we had the opportunity to experience such a special place. I hope and pray many, many others will still be able to as well, in the future. I am sure they will. I am sure there will be redemption in all of this. God is always creating life, even from death. God is always opening doors, windows. Sometimes, it’s just a crack. I will try to remember that this week as we enter into Good Friday, with the miraculous transformation of the Resurrection to come again.
In the meantime, I am treasuring the memories, and (though I know it won’t make any difference) I am wearing the imprinted coin pendant I purchased there, with love.
I will also be lighting some extra candles for France; all those who are impacted, and for Our Lady.
She’s a tough one, you know. 💙