When you think of Paris what comes to your mind? Certainly not a sacre coeur CRY! Sacre Coeur is a Roman Catholic church, a minor basilica dedicated to the sacred heart of Jesus. Located at the highest point of the city, it is a politcal and cultural landmark. But I am getting ahead of my story.
This summer my husband had to work in the UK and Germany for 3 weeks. Rather than stay home, I decided our family should take advantage of his trip. So I purchased a Eurail Pass for my 12 year old daughter and me with the hopes of some mom-daughter bonding and sight seeing.
Ofcourse we had the normal learning curves of a foreign country. Scurrying for a Euro everytime we needed to use the bathroom. Discovering how to properly book and board the correct train. Learning to successfully bridge the language barrier. Who could have dreamed that a trip to Sacre Coeur could turn into a parental nightmare?
I was already tired that morning, but when I climbed seven flights of metro stairs and then the montmarte steps, I was e.x.h.a.u.s.t.e.d.
UGH! Mobs of people everywhere! Greeted by begging gypsies and again confronted at the church doors. I briefly saw my daughter about two blocks ahead inside the church , but I just couldn’t keep up with my spiritied chick-a-dee. Then as I arrived at the exit – she was no where to be found!
I waited. No cause for alarm.
I waited another 5 minutes. Praying quietly for her safe return.
I waited another 10 minutes and began to pray LOUDER.
I pushed my way against the crowds exiting the church. I did this several times. Still no sighting.
I CRIED for God’s guardian angels to do what they do best.
I CRIED her name frantically. Where was she?
It is now about 20 minutes from the last time I saw her. I don’t speak the language. I don’t know how to dial 911 in France. I feel alone and full of panic. What should I do?
Call on GOD for help! I prayed so loud that I didn’t care how many people heard me or what they thought as all kinds of thoughts ran through my mind….. What is taking her so long? Why did she not meet me at the exit? Was she befriended by some gypsy? What if she was somehow drugged? What if a sex trade accomplice somehow enticed her? Was she already snatched away?
Believe me, I created a HUGE scene. It was now over 40 minutes from the time I last saw her.
O SACRED HEART OF JESUS, YOU CARE FOR YOUR CHILDREN.
YOU HEAR THE PRAYERS OF THE MOTHERS.
PLEASE HEAR MY CRY AND COME HELP US.
While I didn’t call out in French, I am quite sure all of the people heard and understood my prayer. A few even spoke in English that they would pray with me. One seemingly kind lady and her family began asking me questions about what she looked like, what she was wearing and starting looking with me.
She found her inside one of the smaller altars standing there waiting for me. What was my daughter doing?