It feels good to be feeling better. And, thanks to my good neighbors, to catch the sun’s rays and seascape through clean windows. Our three units combine to hire pros to wash away the blurs and blotches that come from living near the ocean. For example, any remaining seagull splat’s gone. So finally, my view of Good Harbor’s untainted by one bird’s calling card.
As I watched the man clean the windows, I thought of Jud. He washed windows during his first two years as a seminary student, climbing tall buildings to do so. I’m sure it tested his faith more than once. In ladders, if nothing else.
Well, it was because of windows that eleven days ago, Heather and I joined a lengthy queue to obtain tickets to enter the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris. We wanted to see the famous 1,113 stained glass windows. Once inside, they stunned and amazed me. The windows surround the upper chapel, built by King Louis IX in the mid 13th century, depicting stories from Genesis to Revelation.
Heather rented a headset to help us learn the history behind what we were seeing. After a while I returned it and focused on the place. What amazing beauty, intricate design, brilliant colors depicted stories without words.
A small child stood just to my left. Her father squatted to be at eye level with his curious daughter. Thoughtful. They spoke English with an accent. After asking several questions about the stories captured in glass, she asked, “How come I can’t see out those windows?”
It’s true. You can’t see out to know the weather, time of day or traffic conditions. But I didn’t stay tuned to their conversation, so don’t know how he responded after, “Well…”
And eleven days later I’m still thinking about her question. Not as it relates to stained glass but to the role of The Church. How much are we to be a window on the world? To know what’s happening outside? To see beyond the stained glass and care.
Beauty has its place in and outside the Church.
But even more, The Church must be a welcoming place for folks with questions, for ones who don’t know the stories or care to see the windows. However, they’re looking for something.
What are we offering?
And, if it’s so amazing, where are the lines?
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