Yesterday, the world was captivated and horrified by the images coming out of Parish.; and the vast majority of humanity let out a collective gasp as Notre Dame Cathedral was in flames.
I, like everyone else, watched in spellbound horror as smoke and flames billowed from the Notre Dame De Paris Cathedral. Of course, it can’t be understated just how much significance that the church, and all of the history that has swirled around it, really has. It is the spiritual center of France; but, more than that, it has played a role in many great historic events in history, such as the crowning of Napoleon as emperor. We had utterly no idea if the many treasures, priceless works of art, or holy relics would be lost.
When I first heard about the tragedy, I was in Second Life doing some ministry work with some friends. Suddenly, one of them posted a link in our chat. It was a life video feed from Paris. For hours, we stood in that virtual place, in utterly horror, as we all watched what was happening from our computers. Sadly, I didn’t have the luxury of staying home to watch what was happening. I had to work; but, once I got there, I made it a point to check in on the situation.
When I got home, I went back into the virtual work, much as I always did at that time of the night. Scores of people were gathered outside of the virtual recreation of Notre Dame. They were there because they were sad. They were there because they wanted to pay their respects. Most of all, they were they because, much like me, they didn’t know what else to do. Everyone needed a way to process the unthinkable. So, we prayed together, which was really the only think we could really do.
In the end, the Cathedral will be rebuilt. No matter how long it takes, it will be restored.
It can’t be understated just how symbolic it was that holy week began with the entire globe fascinated by the red, yellow, and gold tendrils extending far into the night sky of Paris. Could there have been anything more symbolic than the death of one of the greatest churches in Christendom? I believe, just like Christ, Notre Dame will rise from the dead.
Years from now, we will go back to the ruins of Notre Dame, and the tomb will be empty. She will stand there, majestic as ever, welcoming the faithful and saving souls, just as she had done for hundreds of years before.