After a weekend in which tornadoes came to herald one untimely winter day, the weather seems determined to make amends today: clean lines of sun and shadow over thick grass under a pristine blue sky.
My boys nap.
Notre Dame Cathedral is on fire.
The destruction of an old pile on the other side of the world has little bearing on life inside my little house, but still I feel a sense of loss, that my already slim chances of ever seeing that beautiful place are perhaps moving toward none.
Begun nearly 1000 years ago, and constructed over the course of two centuries, the cathedral deserves the attention it’s received. Though we don’t know their names, the workmen who poured their lives into its construction built something obviously important, in sheer scale and beauty and longevity. So, too, the workers who have been restoring it.
It’s harder to see the importance of picking up another dumped lunch plate, wiping another runny nose, pushing another grocery cart through the aisles of Kroger and trying to keep everyone moderately content from the produce section all the way through dairy, checkout, and loading the van.
But Notre Dame will vanish one day — today or later. The architecture of eternity will put even all memory of Notre Dame to flight, and the human souls who seem so insignificant beside that centuries-old structure will populate eternity in glory or torment forever.
It’s right to build, and to grieve when buildings burn and topple, but, oh, I want my life to be spent on forever-things!
I don’t know the eternal ramifications of holding this sleeping baby now nor of trying to soothe an intractable toddler at four am. But, Lord willing, these boys are intended for living stones, to be built into God’s spiritual house. To this end we teach and pray and labor.
If they are, the glory is all to God, none to me. But what an awesome privilege, and terrifying responsibility, to be laboring here. Build Your house, Lord, and let us not labor in vain.
© 2019 by Stacy Crouch