Day 27: Nevrincea, Romania.
The abandoned cathedral was obscured by trees, her doorways guarded by stinging nettle. Her pews awaited visitors who walked away years ago. Spider webs were woven into the altar cloths and priestly vestments. A raven lay decaying – a reminder of life choked out. Divine images rotted on altars and in confessionals. Her songs were covered in dust, her light now shattered into crystalline shards. She was exposed now, her balcony roof collapsed with moss growing on the tiles scattered on the crushed marble floor. Stained glass glistened like rain on the ground around her.
And yet she was so beautiful. Taking photo after photo, I could feel the life still there – the faint heartbeat of hope. I picked up a piece of stained glass and tucked it in my pocket as I whispered a prayer. “For this village, for this country, for us sweet Jesus – don’t let hope die in us. Ever. Please.”
The next day, I was given a gift – wrinkled and ripped, and yet it was holy. It hangs on my wall, a precious whispered response in my year. “I am God and I own hope – and I am here, even in the moments that seem wrecked and decayed. Still, I am here.”
It’s the last few days of the #31days project – thank you for journeying with me. The season has been healing for me. I’ve prayed for the stories that were stolen to return, and the list is growing slowly. And new stories have emerged – I am ready to let them be revealed in words and images. Would you share which Shoot like a Girl story meant the most to you? I’d like to know.