Sunday, July 6, 2014
Tintern Time-June 20, 2014
My back is to the stone wall.They are the same as the cold grey ones that form a perfect writing seat for me.What would have been the place of altar and Sacrifice is to my right.After many days on a bus with other tour members, I have skipped lunch, scurried away to hide in this vast ruin.
The birds swoop in and out of the huge arch behind the altar place where stained glass had once been. And here and there, high up on a forgotten ledge, a bouquet of pink flowers sways in the summer breeze.My journal is out and my pen owns the paper as it tells of this place."The wind moves the small daisies at my feet: where stone slabs once made a floor, grass and daisies now cover. It seems right.And right that from the many arched windows, the green trees and hills please."
It was May 9, 1131 that this monastery was founded in Wales and men showed up to be alone with God. The Abbey still stands, though diminished. King Henry 8th saw to that many centuries ago. Henry is dust but somehow this edifice still stands. All the empty windows and doors arch upward.The message is clear. This is holy ground, sanctified by work and prayer.I could almost hear the chanting in the wind.Sanctus.Kyrie.What is more important than Sanctus?The arches say that, when you are looking up, you are looking for the God who will lead you to Himself. What is more important, they ask?
No wonder all the buildings in the Soviet Union were grey boxes.
A few tourists came through with their dogs.I heard the lady say:"Why did this happen to me?"She was talking about her dog whose droppings on the abbey floor would need picking up.My unkind thought was, "Why did this happen to me that you came into holy ground with your dogs?"But as God has reminded me many, many times,"where you dwell is not heaven."For a few minutes, it had been.