This is one of a few photos I keep in a special file on my commuter to which I go when life gets hard. It reminds me that this life is not about me. It is not that I in any way diminish my grief and sadness, confusion and regret, dismay and even occasionally anger. It is ok for me to feel those feelings. It makes me alive and human and living life. But those feelings are just feelings. They pass. The great thing and the hard thing about life is that everything is changing. Our Buddhist friends teach us that very well. We Christians build massive churches out of stone precisely because of our discomfort with this reality of change and decay. The ruins of churches in Europe display the effectiveness of the effort but the tendency remains understandable and deserving of deep compassion.
When I look at this image, I remember that places like this abide. They have beauty without churchiness. They last without having been constructed. They do not respect creed or liturgy. The simply exist and scream out praise of God. That is our calling too.