Sainte-Chapelle, Paris, September 2016

Seeing with new eyes!

By Sharon Bradish

It was the last day of a six-day culinary trip to Paris. Our tour group had seen many sites and tasted fantastic food. There were no planned group activities so my husband and I set out to see new places. We saw the whole of Paris from the Montparnasse Tower, strolled through the Luxembourg Gardens, visited the Pantheon, passed by the Sorbonne, and found Sainte-Chapelle. This chapel was built by Louis IX in the thirteenth century. It is best known for its rose window and other stained-glass windows that are on the remaining three sides. These windows show scenes from the Old and New Testaments. We entered through the Lower Chapel and saw a beautiful blue and gold sanctuary. We were confused at first because we were expecting to see the stained glass. My husband noticed people ascending a small stairway. We went up and entered the Upper Chapel. We stood in awe taking in the unparalleled beauty of the sun light streaming through the windows.

Sainte-Chapelle, Paris, September 2016

Sainte-Chapelle, Paris, September 2016

Whenever I travel and walk into a sanctuary I feel the presence and love of God no matter the denomination of the sacred place. Whether it was Sainte-Chapelle, Notre Dame, Sacré Coeur or Saint – Eustace in Paris, the Metropolitan Cathedral or the Basílica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, St. Patrick’s in Dublin, or the local churches around Guácimo or Guápiles, Limón, Costa Rica. I wonder how the architects originally envisioned these places and how the builders achieved these visions.

I enter the sanctuaries and stand in awe of the great architecture, ornate decorations, stained glass, or simply the beauty of the space that makes me feel closer to God. And when I return to Columbus, I see Faith Lutheran Church’s sanctuary with new eyes. The place that I feel so comfortable in and have taken for granted. It is beautiful! I begin to pay closer attention to the details. To the altar cloth, carvings, banners, furniture, flowers, candles. Every item has a purpose. Ultimately, all of these things bring us into communion with our Lord and Savior. I challenge you and myself to look around with fresh eyes every time we enter this very special place.

Join us this Lenten season for our near-daily devotion, part of

“The Brush of Angel Wings” Sensing God’s Love.