I stepped into the chapel of Sainte Chapelle in Paris and had to catch my breath. It's magnificent, I said to myself as the Gothic arches raised my eyes up to the ceiling. I eagerly took in the intricate and colorful detail of the walls of stained glass windows. The chapel seemed to be preaching me a sermon through the beauty of its art and architecture.
"Come, let us return to the LORD" (Hosea 6:1) the panels seemed to say to me as I examined the stories of salvation history depicted by the illuminated colored glass. The intentional architecture silently called to me to live my life as a work of art, a living temple fashioned and formed by the hands of my Creator. This chapel, built to house holy relics of the instruments of Christ's torture during His Passion and Crucifixion, reoriented my focus and additionally invited me to turn back to God.
"Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness; in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense" (Psalm 51:3).
It was time to let go of my own attachment to self-righteousness and judgment of others. It was time to recognize both my own dignity, created by God and more marvelous and exquisite than any man-made masterpiece, as well as to acknowledge my own fallibility and my human capacity for evil and mistakes.
"O God, be merciful to me a sinner" (Luke 18:13). May we walk in humility and experience the radiance of God's truth.
Have you have an experience or encountered a place that served as a physical reminder for you to return to the Lord and His mercy? Pray with that memory now.
Mary Catherine Craige enjoys spending her time dancing, writing, playing the Irish harp and surfing the waves of northeast Florida. As a transformational life coach, she supports strong women to create beauty out of challenging situations and to live a life of abundance, freedom and joy as the person God has created them to be. She is a contributing author to our children's devotional prayer book, Rise Up. You can find out more about her here.