Today — Thanksgiving Day — we can thank God for the intangibles: Joy, Faith, Hope, Love.
One of my favorite places in the world is Notre Dame in Paris, which, to me, is much more beautiful on the outside than on the inside. The interior is dim and lined with never-ending tourists. But the outside is bright and gothic, sitting like an ornament along the Seine. It’s beautiful, in part, because of its elegant “flying buttresses.” They aren’t an original part of the design, but as workers built the nave, the thin walls (popular in gothic architecture) showed signs of stress. The walls were pushed outward by the weight of the structure, and the cathedral’s architects faced a crisis. How could they brace up the walls without ruining the appearance of their masterpiece? The answer: flying buttresses.
I think of the intangibles – joy, hope, faith – as the flying buttresses of the soul. They prop up our emotions, support our spirits, and keep us pointing upward toward the Lord.
Today we can thank God for the intangibles!