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Of Architechtural Etchings and Eternal Echoes

In 1237 Jeanne, Countess of Flanders, founded a hospital to provide for the needs of the sick and wayfaring. The result was a healing convergence of beauty and the most advanced palliative care. Today Jeanne’s legacy lingers with us, clothed in the form of one of the most beautiful buildings in all of northern France. While it is not uncommon for men to attach their names to impressive monuments, it is instructive to note that Jeanne lavished such rich and exquisite beauty, such a wealth of medicine and healing upon those who could not repay her. Such a life reflects the splendor of the Cross — of Calvary where the majesty of God mingled with the misery of man. Holy love for God and man beautifies all it encompasses. It sweetens the odors of the death room and presents a pleasing fragrance to the Holy One; in short, the love of God ministers healing to those who cannot help themselves:

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:4–7, ESV)

Today if you find yourself wounded and in need of a Physician,[1] sick and in need of Savior;[2] if you are crushed beneath a load of sin and regret; even if you cannot feel anything at all — call out to Jesus. See your sin for what it is. Turn from it and toward Him. If you do, the Bible promises,

“… The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on Him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:8–13 (ESV)

The royal Countess of Flanders chose to attach her name to the place of suffering and death. But then, so did Christ.

Father, may we live so as to leave a legacy — legacies not etched in architecture but in living echoes of praise. May that praise resound long after our lips are silenced by the grave; indeed, may our praises ring out over eternity.

[1] Mark 2:15–17 (ESV) “And as he reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 17 And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.’”

[2] Isaiah 45:20–22 (ESV) “Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, you survivors of the nations! They have no knowledge who carry about their wooden idols, and keep on praying to a god that cannot save. Declare and present your case; let them take counsel together! Who told this long ago? Who declared it of old? Was it not I, the Lord? And there is no other god besides Me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides Me. 22 “Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.

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