“There are far, much better issues forward than any we go away behind,” wrote C.S. Lewis, lengthy earlier than 2020.
At a time of reflection, the world is desperately looking for hope for its crushed spirits, and eager for gentle to seek out new methods of residing in 2021. Regardless of a disastrous yr, it’s time to assemble inspiration and go ahead. We are able to bear in mind the blessings — these unimaginable sunsets, sunrises and the mysteries of skies; the testimonies of so many well being care angels; neighbors who stepped as much as ship home-cooked meals to their communities as they appeared out for one another. Every of us can ask, what now’s my objective and my supply of awe and inspiration?
At residence and afar, I’ve been spiritually and creatively impressed by snapshots of previous touring: the rugged majesty in Utah’s nationwide parks, beautiful northern lights in Alaska, and rhythmic symphonies of the California coast.
However manner up there, on the prime of the checklist, is being in cathedrals with stained glass home windows —questioning how they got here to be, what impressed the Egyptians to make glass artwork for jewellery by melting white sand, sodium and lime, then including rocks to supply magnificent colours: copper for crimson, iron for inexperienced and yellow, cobalt for blue, and manganese for violet. And the invention, early within the Christian period, that lead oxide would obtain transparency within the glass items. Most significantly, that human arms around the globe proceed to rearrange these beautiful mosaics of magnificence.
For the reason that twelfth century, stained glass has superbly communicated the biblical story of each the Previous Testomony and New Testomony to the poor, illiterate worshipper in addition to the educated believer. In sacred silence, stained glass presents the love and hope of Jesus Christ to all.
Many years in the past, on a day with gloomy skies, I used to be one in every of 13 million annual guests to the dramatic Gothic structure of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. The aged, stone exterior is a stark distinction to the sensible stained glass inside. You may go away darkness on the door and know that you just’re welcomed into the sunshine.
As I sat quietly amid flickering candlelight, the colours and shapes appeared to mirror the varied qualities of humanity, its cultures, struggles, skills, losses. It’s straightforward to see parallels to the Grasp who made us and might lovingly restore us to a brand new life. There’s a way of eternity and luxury, understanding you’re only one who has acquired God’s grace, however that there’s greater than sufficient grace for hundreds of thousands extra. And, that all of us matter. “For I do know the plans I’ve for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and to not hurt you, plans to present you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).
Elizabeth Kubler-Ross noticed: “Persons are like stained glass home windows. They sparkle and shine when the solar is out, however when the darkness units in, their true magnificence is revealed provided that their gentle is from inside.”
The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris’ historical past reveals some fascinating highlights and miracles of its endurance:
- It survived the 1790s French Revolution when anti-Christian crowds raged to destroy it for its Catholic energy. Monks and clergy have been placed on trial, and public worship grew to become unlawful; 500 year-old statues have been beheaded. After the Reign of Terror, France’s violent separation of church and state was official and, within the nineteenth century, the cathedral was restored to its former glory.
- As cultures battled over the cathedral, Victor Hugo, in 1831, passionately portrayed the constructing as a personality within the novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame and gained hearts to reserve it.
- In 2019, fireplace burned the world’s most well-known cathedral for a reported 15 hours, and it practically collapsed. Trustworthy ones gathered and sang hymns, and a heroic priest daringly rescued the Holy Crown. Finally, scientists decided that the cathedral’s 113 stained glass home windows survived the horrific harm.
- Amazingly, the smallest residents, 200,000 European bees put in in 2013, have been thought to have perished within the fireplace however survived. After they sensed hazard, they remained by their hives, gorging on honey and dealing to guard their queen.
Mom Teresa stated, “Not all of us can do nice issues. However we will do small issues with nice love.” With renewed hope from our Creator, might we be impressed to hunt higher issues forward. Welcome 2021!
Phawnda Moore is writer of Lettering from A to Z. She lives in Northern California, the place she coordinates worldwide mail artwork exchanges. Discover her on Fb at Calligraphy & Design by Phawnda or Instagram at phawnda.moore.