Sacre-Coeur Basilica
Paris, France

There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.

Leonard Cohen

The first time I saw  Sacre-Coeur Basilicia  it was silhouetted against a brilliant blue sky. Climbing the many stairs to the entrance and finally stepping inside, I felt an immediate sense of peace. This wasn’t the feeling of awe when entering Notre Dame or the breath-taking beauty of Sainte-Chapelle, this was a  sense of being out of harm’s way. I felt the same knowing of comfort and family I had when entering the little, white, clapboard, church I grew up attending. I sat down on a pew toward the back and breathed in the tranquility that surrounded me.

Looking back, I wish that I could tell you my experience at Sacre-Coeur brought about a renewal of faith in my life. It did not. For many years, I have had a hit or miss relationship with God. If I am to be honest, it has often been more of a miss. Through the years, I have witnessed the hypocrisy of today’s church and convinced myself that if these were the people that represented God, it wasn’t for me. 

As I became older, it was easier to separate God from religion. I could disagree with many of the terrible things being done in His name and still maintain my faith. I have noticed that, even in the times we are now in, something will be brought to my attention that says to me, “Be still and know that I am God.” In the past few weeks that has included a beautiful rendition of the song, Anthem by Leonard Cohen, an interview with Pastor Wintley Phipps and a note from a sister I haven’t been in contact with in over twenty years. 

I am reminded about the man, praying for help while  standing on a rooftop in a flood. A row boat, a motor boat and, finally, a helicopter came by with offers of help. Each time the man replied, “No thanks, I have prayed to God and he is going to save me”. Eventually, the man drowned and when he spoke to God he said, “I had faith that you would save me, why did you let me drown?” To which God replied, “I sent you a row boat, a motor boat and a helicopter, what more did you want?”

May God give you grace and space during these difficult times. 

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