I believe there will be a lot of blogs today and tomorrow about the loss of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Facebook and the news have been flooded with pictures and stories of this tremendous loss.
I was never able to visit Paris or see the cathedral. Even so, I share in the sense of loss for this amazing architecture and symbol of faith for so many people around the world. According to the New York Times, construction on the cathedral started in 1163 and was completed in 1345. That is amazing.
So many historical events and ceremonies took place there. So much art and craftsmanship held inside this iconic structure. What a tremendous loss for the entire world.
When we lose something that seems to have always been, it shakes us. It makes us realize even more how fragile life is. How quickly material things can be lost. It happens to people all over the world every day. But we don’t feel those losses in the same way. In a strange way, we are connected through places and things that are familiar.
Yesterday someone asked what is the one thing I always wanted but could never afford? If I was given an unlimited supply of money, would I buy it now?
I honestly could not think of any material possession I yearn for. Perhaps that makes me a fortunate person. Today the thought crossed my mind that maybe I would donate money to help restore the cathedral.
But then my mind went to the every-day people who may have lost everything. I wonder why I did not consider them first. It’s hard to look that honesty in the face.
The sense of loss is a strange animal. When a cathedral burns, we all feel a sense of loss. It seems harder to ‘feel’ the loss for our neighbors whom we may not know. They aren’t familiar to us in the same way.
Both losses make me sad.
My prayers go out to the firefighters and all the people in Paris and around the world touched by this loss.