The Glory that is Paris: Cathédrale Notre-Dame

Chimera at Notre Dame Cathedral. ParisEdgar Allen Poe exalted in “the glory that was Greece,
and the grandeur that was Rome,” Kathi, Stephen and Joel at Notre Dame Cathedral. Parisbut I’d like to write about “the glory that is Paris,” Notre Dame Cathedral. Paris. Spring Chestnuts in bloomand among the greatest of her achievements is Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris ("Our Lady of Paris") on the the Île de la Cité in Paris(“Our Lady of Paris”) on the the Île de la Cité in Paris. Charts on history of Notre Dame Cathedral. ParisSince the cornerstone was laid in 1163, Notre Dame Cathedral has become Long history of Notre Dame Cathedral. Parisone of the largest and most famous churches in the world. Notre Dame Cathedral. Paris side viewIt is also one of the finest examples of French Gothic ArchitectureWide-angle view from South Tower of Notre Dame Cathedralto be found anywhere around the globe! Chimera at Notre Dame Cathedral. ParisAs Jean de Jandun wrote in Tractatus de laudibus Parisius back in 1323: Interior View of Notre Dame Cathedral. Paris“That most glorious church…deservedly shines out, like the sun among stars… Cross in front of stained glass window Notre Dame Cathedral. Pariswindows ruddy with precious colors and beautiful…” Ah, ’tis true! Stained Glass Windows in Notre Dame Cathedral. ParisAmong its glories, Notre Dame’s most outstanding features include:  Notre Dame Cathedral. Paris Flying ButtressesButresses#1. Flying buttresses Roofline Notre Dame Cathedral. Paris(an innovative feature added later to support walls that were starting to bulge). 8000 pipes for the Great Organ in Notre Dame#2. France’s largest pipe organ
(and likely the world’s most famous as well, with 8,000 pipes!). Gargoyle overlooking city from Notre Dame Cathedral. Paris#3.  Chimeras and gargoyles that adorn the exterior walls Gargoyle waterspout Notre Dame Cathedral. Paris(and serve as waterspouts), Notre Dame Cathedral. Paris Gargoyle made famous ’round the world by Disney’s version of  Victor Hugo’s
The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Emmanuel Bell in Notre Dame Cathedral#4. Bells (also of Hunchback fame). Front doors of Notre Dame Cathedral. Paris#5. Three magnificent front entries with elaborately carved reliefs and statues. Notre Dame Cathedral Paris Story of Christ in relief#6. Intricate carvings that teach the entire gospel Thomas touching Jesus' side Notre Dame Cathedral. Paris from the birth of Christ through his resurrection.Statues on roof of Notre Dame Cathedral. Paris#7. Tributes to the saints and apostles even on the rooftops!Beautiful stained glass windowns in Notre Dame Cathedral. Paris#8. And, my personal favorite: The biblical stories in glorious stained glass. Notre Dame Cathedral. Paris Tall!There are 10 bells at the Notre Dame, and it you’re willing to climb 387 steps Spire of Notre Dame Cathedral. Paristo the top of the South Tower Paris as seen from the Notre Dame Cathedral Bell Tower(totally worth the wait and walk…and has absolutely stunning views of the city), Bell of Notre Dame Cathedral. Paris you can see the largest bell, “Emmanuel” (“God with us!”),
which dates back to 1681 and weighs over 13 tons. Emmanuel Bell at Notre Dame Cathedral. ParisEmmanuel tolls out the hours of the day and other worthy occasions,
perhaps the most famous of which was during the dark night of August 24, 1944, when God made a way for France to be liberated from their captors.Stained Glass Notre Dame Cathedral. ParisDeep within her heart, Notre Dam is illuminated by rainbowed light
from dazzling, stained glass windows. Rose Window Notre Dame Cathedral. ParisThe crowning joy is Notre Dame’s South Rose Window,
which is 12.9 meters in diameter South Rose Window. Notre Dame Parisand is comprised of 84 individual panes
dedicated to teaching the New Testament. South Rose Window Notre Dame CathedralA gift from King Louis IV to the church, this window is considered one of Christianity’s greatest artistic masterpieces. Beautiful lighting inside Notre Dame Cathedral. ParisAs I stood mesmerized by the beauty and light, worshiping my great God,
whose glory inspired such tribute, Open window in Notre Dame CathedralI noticed that one of the stained glass windows was open. South Rose Windows with Candles burningFor some reason, it never occurred to me that any of the windows would open, but it made me think of Hosea 2:15, “And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there…” Worshiping in Notre DameEven in situations where we can’t imagine a window opening, Door of hope opens in stained glass window Notre Dame Cathedral. ParisGod can make a way for us.

“God will make a way
Where there seems to be no way
He works in ways we cannot see
He will make a way for me.

“He will be my guide
Hold me closely to His side
With love and strength for each new day
He will make a way, He will make a way.”
(—Don Moen)Oil Painting in Notre Dame. Paris(I took all photos of, in, or from Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, May, 21016.)

Intriguing Doors…Old and New

Door in Mediterranean IslandA couple of days ago I went out for breakfast and to tour the home studio of a new friend who’s a very creative and gifted artist here in southwest Michigan.  If you’ve ever read The Ladies’ #1 Detective Agency, picture Precious, and you might see Carol, or at least that’s who she makes me think of—flamboyant, effervescent, astute, wise…one of those “can do and I’m gonna” sorts of people who’ve been through the wringer and come out the other side with a bright, indomitable spirit. Mediterranean CruiseShe’s also charismatic…the sort of sister in the faith who closes her eyes and sees things…like doors and books…which is what she saw for me.Door for swimming pool In fact, Carol gave me all sorts of advice on names and numbers and some of the “how to’s” of breaking into the market if I’m interested in trying to become more professional with my photography. Doors to outhouse in TunisiaBut, she also asked me a very provocative question, which might have caught me off guard had it not been exactly the same question the guest pastor at our church asked us all last Sunday: “What do you want?” Venice? GraceWe talked a long time, but I want to share just one bit of striking advice: “If the Lord whispers in your heart, ‘Take pictures of doors,’ then do it! Do whatever He tells you. You might not know why now, but someday it will all make sense.” Door. OldActually, I’m intrigued by doors and have indeed been taking pictures of them for a long time! I may not be alone in this fascination, however, because I see doors everywhere—even behind people on Facebook pictures—or else I just notice doors everywhere because they’re fascinating to me.

University of Michigan Law QuadTo me, doors speak of hope and opportunity. They make me curious. Baby DoorThey’re an invitation to adventure.Annecy. France How about you? Can you close your eyes and see doors? Doors. House with manyWhat do they look like? Michigan Law QuadWhat do you want?Door Handle Do you want to choose which door to open,
or would you rather let the Lord choose for you? Eastman Theater DoorsAre you willing to do whatever He whispers in your heart?Door. Very ornate“And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt” (Hosea 2:15).Beautiful Door“I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture” (John 10:9).

(Picture of the blue door in Venice taken by my kids, Mike and Grace. Picture of the red door is by Biblegram. The rest are mine from all over the place!)