I was alone in a small chapel in St. Pierre’s Cathedral in Paris, France. I felt His Presence.
My wife and I were ambling around the outside of Sacre Coeur. I was taking pictures, oblivious to my surroundings while she, unbeknownst to me, went to sit on some steps overlooking the beautiful city.
At one point, amid the many artists trying to coax pretty American tourists into having a sit-n-sketch pour une somme modique (for a small fee), I turned and saw that I was not in the presence of my pretty American wife.
I wasn’t too worried about her, as she is not a flight risk, so I wondered over to the other cathedral that is hardly ever mentioned when discussing Montmarte, St. Pierre’s. This is one of the oldest existing churches in Paris. It was established in 1147 A.D. and has existed through a number of rebuilds until the current cathedral, which was given its final update around 1905.
I was immediately drawn to the light coming through the stained glass windows in the small chapels. I started taking some pictures of the refracted light settling on the floor and walls. All of a sudden, I felt this urge to just stop and sit and pray.
I was alone in one of the chapels. I thought of all the people who had come here through the years to do just what I was doing, praying to the Almighty God and Creator of all things. As I was praying, I felt the eternal nature of God, who has helped so many Christians endure through the ages.
I think God gives us a few moments in life to let us know He is here. It can come when we least expect it. At this particular moment, I was just wanting to take some pictures in an old cathedral, something I had done a number of times. I feel that God told me, “Sit and be still and know that I am God.” An overwhelming peace came over me for a short time and it was so comforting. And then it was gone, the mystery of God at times is perplexing but wonderful.
I dropped a lens out of my camera bag onto the hard floor and I was welcomed back to the reality of my inadequacies. A sympathetic fellow photog came up and asked if my lens was ok. He heard it fall a good distance away while standing in the nave. He was startled by a different presence, but a good soul nonetheless.
I left the cathedral in search of my wife.
Now I was sure she was in the presence of some Parisian, Renoir-wannabe, plunking down une mois de salaire (a month’s salary). But she was in the same place she had been for the past hour, on the steps overlooking the city, eavesdropping on some poor drug -addled fellow, with no job, telling his life story to his Parisian friend whom he was visiting. He couldn’t figure out why his wife left him.
Not much mystery there…
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