Paris – January 4, 2011

We landed at 6am and powered through the whole day to take advantage of our short stay in Paris.  Beginning with breakfast at a cafe across from our hotel, I managed to slip into the small cathedral across from the hotel with Nathanael while the others were exchanging money – and we happened to be the only ones there, so I had to do what one must when in a cathedral with amazing acoustics – sing!!  Now I can say that I sang in Paris! ha.

Our first destination was Sacre Coeur, a gorgeous cathedral with an equally beautiful view of the city.

Next, we went for a stroll in the artist’s district in Montmartre and enjoyed some truly Parisian treats.  Onward we continued to the Musee d’Orsay and waited in a very long and very cold line to see the museum that found it’s home in an old train station.

Before dinner and turning into our hotel early, we made our way to the Paris Opera House, which was perhaps my favorite destination of the day (and not only because it incited me to sing every Phantom of the Opera song in my memory – ha).  The building was truly breathtaking!

And now I am sitting in our quaint hotel in Montmartre with the Eirrel Tower directly outside of my window and a heart overwhelmed by beauty.  The Opera House almost brought me to tears by how stunning it was (yes – jet lag may have contributed to my overly emotional state as well – but it really was beautiful! ha).  The history of this city – the feet and the stories that have walked upon these very stones and marble stairs – the journeys of every traveler who has been taken aback by the very grandeur that has left me (nearly) speechless.  And somehow, as I found myself in the midst of such splendor as we ventured into the final ballroom of the Opera House, I honestly began uttering the name of Jesus without thought, which struck me as odd at first – but it was as if all my soul could do in that moment was praise for the ability to inspire such remarkable creativity that is truly transcendent because without realizing it, it does transport you to another place of strange familiarity – one of awakened senses that this world has often left dull and lifeless, one of beauty that enlarges the heart, one of worship that reaches far beyond the mundane and routine.  Perhaps these are the ‘glimpses of Eden’ as I heard someone phrase once.  ‘He has set eternity in our hearts’ and maybe this is the true hope of great art (whether the individual meant it or not) – awakening our spirit deep within to long for that which we were originally intended.

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