Christ in the Rubble – Prayers for Notre Dame

 

Notre Dame
Jesus is not offended by our mess. He is present in our ash and rubble.

By: Jana Greene

Yesterday, the Cathedral at Notre Dome burned down for the most part. The building is said to be counted as a near total loss. It is physically painful to look at the images coming from Paris.

You’ve probably seen the picture making the rounds of the golden cross and altar still standing at Notre Dame. Somehow, some way.

I’m not one of those people to ascribe to the following line of dogma: Betty Jo died in a horrific car accident, and only the Bible in her back seat survived completely unharmed! I used to think that was big guns, until I acknowledged the niggling question in my soul, “Yeah, but what about Betty Jo? Surely God cares more for her than a book!”

And he does. I know he does.

As humans, we like to equate beautiful with holy. It seems natural, doesn’t it? We like signs and wonders, and when possible, like to make our own and wait for God to admire our handiwork.

On a trip to New York City many years ago, I visited Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. A more beautiful place I have never seen. As my group toured, there was respectful silence, but for me, there were tears. I couldn’t bear it. Even years later, I skip a breath in considering the majesty.

My prevailing thought is now what it was then, “If puny men can make something so beautiful, Oh my GOD, what can YOU do?”

Notre Dame was stunningly beautiful. I am sorry I’ve never seen it in person, but the pictures alone make me skip a breath just like St. Patrick’s Cathedral. That a place so radiantly stunning could be built by human hands is astonishing. That a place so beautiful could be leveled with flame is heart-breaking.

As Paris mourns, there still is God.

In the muck and mire, soot and ash.

I’m not sure that God saved the Cross at Notre Dame as a sign or a wonder. I see signs and wonders in a lot of innocuous things.  I like to think he did, but I also don’t believe he is a God of destruction, or had anything to do with it burning in the first place….

Still, it’s a stunning visual, isn’t it?  It speaks to my heart today, as dramatically as the walls that cloistered it. I find that rubble is so relatable. No matter how majestic, things crumble. I crumble, too.

Yet, when I crumble, there is Christ.

Wherever ivory towers fall, there is Christ.

Wherever beautiful things lie in rubble, there is Christ.

There is Christ, always, in the midst.

A million stained glass windows cannot outshine him. No stone foundation is more steady.

Be reminded of this as you wade through whatever rubble is breaking your gait and tripping you up. And no power in heaven or earth can keep him from lifting you out.

Praying for you, Paris.

Praying for all of us, world.

 

4 thoughts on “Christ in the Rubble – Prayers for Notre Dame

  1. “…I’m not sure that God saved the Cross at Notre Dame as a sign or a wonder. I see signs and wonders in a lot of innocuous things. I like to think he did, but I also don’t believe he is a God of destruction, or had anything to do with it burning in the first place….”

    Great article, Jana. I love your recognition of the Holy Spirit over man made…anything. However, how can we say that the Twin Towers/World Trade Center (9/11), Hiroshima/Nagasaki, Mount St. Helens (barely rating in USA or Global volcanoes), or, ‘fill in the blank’ catastrophe, caught God by surprise? Who’s in control?

    My point is this: God knew(!) all along that ‘Man’ would build a Tower of Babel. He knocked it down for a reason. His reason. He knows what went into the construction of the Notre Dame Cathedral, and world history demanding its labor and reverence. Same for 9/11.

    I don’t ever want to get anywhere near those: “The world’s tallest artificial structure is the 829.8-metre-tall (2,722 ft) Burj Khalifa in Dubai (of the United Arab Emirates). The building gained the official title of “tallest building in the world” and the tallest self-supported structure at its opening on January 9, 2010…” – W@ikpedia

    Lastly, Macron says he will rebuild!! Why? Because it was/is a tourist attraction!
    God, in the ruble, is speaking to his beloved. He is not a building, a church, a denomination, nor is He merely a helpless observer of Time. He has blessed the faithful who built Notre Dame. He will bless those, like you and me, and those who love Him, and who mourn.

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