Worship: Lighting a candle

Like countless others, I was aghast at the pictures of Notre Dame in Paris up in flames. Besides my husband, none of us have visited France. It is at the top of our lists, though. We were supposed to visit last fall, but Iberia cancelled our flight less than two weeks out. We were unable to find a similar flight at a reasonable cost. I was sad that Paris was delayed for us, but figured we’d rebook another time. It didn’t occur to us that Notre Dame’s glory was time sensitive.

My college art history professor did a great job of highlighting Notre Dame’s architectural features. I’ve wanted to see flying buttresses since she taught me about them. As the newscasters were describing the events, words like ‘nave’ and ‘transept’ took me back to her class. While the damage to the cathedral is almost too much to bear, it is miraculous that so much was saved.

One picture that stood out was the picture of the candles still alight through the firefighter’s efforts. It reminded me of all the churches we’ve visited. Whenever it’s possible to light a candle, we do. We offer prayers of thanksgiving for our travel as well as requests to return home safely. We take a moment to soak in a church’s quiet and sanctified atmosphere. It’s always a welcome rest in the middle of a busy day of travel.

We’ll get to Notre Dame one day, and will be thankful that we finally made it. Until then, we’ll continue to be thankful that no lives were lost and repair is possible.


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