28 July 2017, 1:37 pm
an immediate, unquenchable giddiness morphing into a profound sense of awe and wonder. A beauty literally overcomes me and moves me to tears as I wander to the front of the Chapel and look up and around—there's something divine here or at least striving for it. A reaching for the unreachable. An effort to express the inexpressible. I start a little prayer to God, switching between singular and plural wanting to feel who is there. I then call out to Dangiskaja Mama, Heavenly Mom, and turn to see light shining brighter through a panel of the stained glass. I feel Her. She is here. She dwells among this beautiful stunning powerful place. A moment later and She's gone. The power of the glass remains, my eyes on the verge of tears from the stunning beauty around me.
ST. PAUL'S, London, UK
1 August 2017
I've been stunned by the architecture of the Cathedral but haven't felt *moved* by what I've seen. Climbed the stairs to the top and overlooked London, impressed with the technical achievement of the place, grinning at the beauty of the city laid out before me, but still untouched in my soul. I wonder about what's different here from Notre Dame , or York Minster, or especially Sainte-Chapelle. Why doesn't this place speak to me? I move to the center and look up. The ceiling is again, impressive but perhaps too much for my tastes? It's almost over-eager, struggling to prove its value and spirituality and that's not working for me. I stand and move out of the center. A fellow student/traveler/friend points to the far side and asks if I've seen it. I say no and he nods like I should as I move in that direction. I find a painting of Christ knocking on a door, shadowed, holding a lantern, crown of thorns and halo visible around his head. Underneath are the words: "Behold I stand at the door and knock if any man hear my voice and open the door I will come in to him and will sup with him and he with me."
The painting is framed ornately and set inside a wooden box with its doors wide open, complementing the message of the painting. I'm immediately touched by something. A couple days prior I gave our weekly devotional/fireside on questions and seeking and knocking. I feel validated. I feel God. I want to let Christ in to sup with me and me with him. There's something here. The building may have left me unmoved, but this painting is powerful and quiet and embodies my spirituality.
I sit and compose these thoughts as tourists and others bustle around me. They leave. I stand and look once more. I'm struck by the single burning candle outside the alcove and rustle up some change for one. I drop the coins in and light my candle on the solitary flame. I stare at it flickering with Christ in my peripherals. I sit again to add this addendum, fed and nourished.