I’ll admit it. I had an awful attitude about it.
A team from Convoy of Hope was flying back to the states from Africa and found themselves with a six-hour layover in Paris, and could someone please meet them and take them to the Eiffel Tower and the Notre Dame?
On a Saturday?
At 7 AM?
Yeah. Less than thrilling to me, I’ll admit. I walked up the steps of the St. Michel-Notre Dame metro exit huddled into my North Face jacket, thinking about the injustice of getting up at 5 AM on a Saturday, and proceeded to sulk my way to the Notre Dame. I received a call 15 minutes later that the airport was advising them not to leave. Shocker. Boy was I mad. I plopped down on one of the stone benches in front of the Notre Dame to decide whether to take the train back to my apartment and go back to bed, or if I should stay in the city for a bit.
As I sat, I noticed some orange start to peep through behind the cathedral. Sunrise behind the Notre Dame? Ok. I’ll stay for this. I started to lose feeling in my legs, but I stayed. As the peeks of orange began to stretch across the sky, I felt myself getting lost in the sunrise. It had been too long since I had just stopped and looked. In the early morning quiet of the city, I found myself alone in this square that is so often jammed with loud, energetic people.
My ipod was shuffling music, and then, as color kept expanding, “The Crisis” by Ennio Morricone came on. If you haven’t heard this song, pick a nice moment to listen to it for the first time. It is haunting and beautiful, and it seemed to play a soundtrack to this moment.
I wept as I sat there. It was partly from my lack of ability to take in the scene before me. But it was also partly because I move too fast. I don’t take time to see things until I am forced to.
It seemed as if God had led me to this place simply to get me to sit still, be quiet, and listen. Or wait. Or simply appreciate the beauty of the moment.
The rest of the day was equally enchanting. I wandered around for hours; I stumbled upon an adorable market, an old dusty bookstore with a cat in it, and there were surprises everywhere. It was a day to simply enjoy the city and to take a breath…and another…and another.
By the end of the day, my heart was so full I feared it could burst.