Our tour manager Jo reminded us over and over again on the trip, that it does not matter whether a miracle happened or not, it simply matters that people believed.
Belief is the cornerstone of faith and I feel one of the most important passions we can experience as human beings. The passion of belief draws us inward to our truest selves and at the same time outward to all the things beyond ourselves. When we believe in miracles and the good in the inexplicable, unexplainable things we somehow become more connected to one another and to our inward self.
But sometimes, I forget to believe. I forget the really good, amazing things in my life are totally unexplainable. How could I ever explain my daughter's survival? Or the full-term birth of my son? Or even the powerful feelings at the moment of my father's and my brother's death? I can try to explain these things with science; and trust-me, I believe science is its own miracle. However, science alone does not fully touch the true meaning of this miraculous, powerful things. But belief--belief in God and forces beyond my full understanding--explains it all.
I just have to remember. That's where the labyrinth comes in.
In Chartres Cathedral, there is a very old Labyrinth that you can walk. The chairs are removed on the Friday during and preceding Lent, so we got lucky on our visit. A labyrinth, unlike a maze, only has one path to walk. Within moments of entering, your mind naturally pulls away from your errant thoughts. You might feel like you are enjoying the walk or maybe you are feeling itchy to end it; but either way, the labyrinth becomes the only thing you can think of.
The path is winding and just as you seem to get close to the center, you are then pulled farther away. You can truly walk off the labyrinth at any day--it is just stones on the floor. But, something about following and believing you will reach the center keeps you there. When others walk the path, you may pass them and then be alone again in your path.
People have been walking the labyrinth at Chartres for centuries--all seeking the same thing--to be closer to their belief.
Then, as I prayed a prayer that went something like "thanks for this amazing trip," I looked up at Lily, across from me, her eyes closed tightly and praying. I have no idea what her prayers were for; but in that moment all I could see in the blue, jewel box light in the center of that labyrinth was a miracle.
My girl, at 16 years old, healthy and whole and living out one of her dreams; and doing it with devotion and faith and belief.
That friends is what is at the center of the labyrinth, glimmers of God and miracles.