Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Notre Dame

When we visited Notre Dame, first we sat in a courtyard and listened to a jazz band. It was a perfect spring day ~ sunny, but not too hot. Reclining on benches, gravel crunched under our feet and in the shadow of this great old Parisian church, the sound of classic American music rose around us.

We rose ourselves and began to walk towards the entrance of the church. On our way we paused at a souvenir shop and bought a calendar. Then I stopped to take a picture of this red door that hangs on the church. I had the following conversation with a Roma girl who approached me to beg.

Her: You speak English?
Me: (in Romanian) No, I speak Romanian.
Her: (surprised and switching to Romanian) Romanian? Are you Romanian?
Me: No
Her: Where are you from?
Me: Galati

Bela came up at this point and we said good-bye to the girl, who continued to follow us - incredulous that I could "speak" Romanian.

We came around the front of the church where there stood a great crowd of people. Quickly we stood in line to enter.

And it took my breath away. The immensity. The height. The weight of stones and glory. The music. The candles. The glass windows.

There was a small section set aside for prayer, and so I sat and stared and listened. And as I sat I thought of Jesus, beckoning the little ones and saying: Hinder them not, for such is the Kingdom of Heaven.

And I thought of my own longing for a child and how the Kingdom is made up of such as the child I longed for. Emotion rose up in me: His longing, His beckoning were so similar to mine.

And I was humbled.

I walked around the church ~ pausing at different stations where others also stood, lighting candles, praying to the saints.

And then, at the end, there He was. Jesus with His kids. The little ones gathered around Him, His smile welcoming them, His hands blessing them. For such is the Kingdom of Heaven.

And me. Gathered at the ancient, His smile welcoming me, hands reaching for me, His little one, lost and humbled in her longing.

And that humility. That longing. Such is the Kingdom of Heaven.


Mel (AKA Dad, Grampa) said...


Jennifer said...

Beautiful! I love those red doors!

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