Fire is scary as well as a tool. To me it was no accident that a fiery tongue came down on our heads. We were being cooked.
Heated up. And used as food for others. That's what fire does and that's what Pentecost seemed to imply to me.
We become instruments by the Holy Spirit even unto death to nourish others. We are tempered by fire to do so.
So I went to see famous sites of the dead . First The Père Lachaise cemetery where numerous luminaries are buried. It's hard to find these tombs in a totally overpopulated place, but I at least saw: the gay wit Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison of the rock band the Who, pianist Chopin, famous playwright Molière (sorry high school French teacher Mrs Imperatrice, I never got his humour), and the ultimate live couple of Heloise and Abelard.
And lots of monuments that were Egyptian in scale or small churches. Then I went to an Episcopal service and came across the fire of Liberty statue that also marks the tunnel where Princess Dianna died 20 years ago.
After mass where Episcopal Bishop of Europe Pierre Whalon blessed me as I journey in his diocese, I tried to see the Catacombs where millions on millions of skeletons are on display. The line was absurd and I was starting to feel under the weather so I skipped and went to the Panthéon. It was once a church to St Genevieve but became a secular temple after the French Revolution. I made my way to see Louise Braille, the Curies, Victor Hugo, Voltaire, and others.
I wish I got to see the normal dead as well as the celebrated but it did fill me in a way. I saw those who created and loved in ways that inspire to this day. If only I saw those less celebrated but who still did so for their families and friends.
This pilgrimage of healing is not just a tourist jaunt through the Pyrenees and northern Spain. It's one where I am walking with you, with others, as we are inspired to pray for others, heal others, ask for prayers, heal ourselves, raise life in love, be loved. We are tempering our metal to cope with issues that frustrate, awe, eventually kill us.
And even though things like colds slow us down, we walk on because we have no choice. We've been graced to live a certain way, to our best and most authentic selves, until our last breath. It's not just pretty symbolism but a scary charge.
Walk on with the fire of inspiration, as we are inspired to create and love with others.