When I find myself in a strange city, or rather, a city I’ve never visited, my tendency is to stare from my window and wonder, “What do I do now?” It’s way out of my comfort zone to leave home, but my life has pushed me to the limit in that regard, and for one reason or another, I’m always rambling. To ramble: to move aimlessly from place to place; to talk or write in a confused way for a long time. Now that we’ve settled that….
So, as I looked out of the window of my Boulevard d’Avroy flat in Liège, Belgium last July, it came to me. “Find the church.” As luck would have it, I found St. Jacques Cathedral just blocks away. And just like magic, I felt at home on a different continent, not knowing a single soul, in a place where I did not belong. (And there was the most beautiful café nearby, where I would find myself enjoying the pace of a Belgian morning on more than one occasion.)
I didn’t poke around the cathedral too long – I’d be in Belgium for weeks, I rationalized. I’d have time to go back. Alas, I did not, and that cursory look around the Grande Dame was the only time I set foot in the church.
On the way to the University of Liège, however, I found another cathedral – St. Paul. There I chanced upon my favorite piece of artwork in the city: a sculpture of Lucifer after his fall from grace. It was inspirational. In his face perfection is reflected – the possibility of his redemption. Possibility. Forgiveness and walking in peace upon this very troubled planet are possible for us all, if that’s what we want.
Sometimes we just want an espresso.