I have a magnetic reaction to this ....word? concept? monster? child?
Drawn to it and repulsed by it.
We watched Notre Dame Cathedral burn this week.
The timbers were beautiful. Strong. And vulnerable.
No sprinkler systems. No firewalls. That was an intentional choice.
Driven yes, a bit by cost but more by holding open a vulnerable space
as its creators designed it.
Ashes, ashes, we all fall down.
I have been a pastor standing in the destruction of a sanctuary
Vulnerable to flooding.
Was it worth the risk? Could we do better in this season with
our buildings, our arts and science to mark this time in history?
Even so that the future generations won't call us fools.
No one wants to engage in conversation.
We attend to walls. We loathe vulnerability. We attend to the beauty of the past.
We don't open ourselves to present glory.
I have stood on the footprints of ancient cathedrals where only the walls stand
Holding up nothing. Holding in nothing. Exposed to rain and bird droppings.
The stonewalls serving only to declare sacred,
It still holds something holy
Even in the droppings and the ashes.
It holds the most vulnerable creation of all.
A human being. Able to perceive life, to dream.
Unable to protect itself from
Being hurt or fearful or dying.
Vulnerable to life and death.
Capable of being the sanctuary and the vessel of love.
Notre Dame. Our Lady.
The last place where Christ curled in fetal position in as much safety
as any human can offer another human.
We are all born vulnerable.
We spend our lives building shelters or walls or cathedrals or corporations.
We can't go back to the womb and so we thicken the walls around us with
whatever we have in hand. We allow for an artist's glimpse of glory.
We haul in the timbers or stone or weapons or cruelty.
All that we build is vulnerable.
We are vulnerable sanctuaries and vessels for love.
That is how every generation is judged by another.
The choices we make with the love from which we were made.
Did we hide? Or did we live?