I was up all night, night-before-last. I finally crawled into bed around 5:30 a.m. Unfortunately, this is an all-too-common occurrence. One of the joys of being me is that I have very fractured sleep patterns. It wasn't always this way. I used to be able to sleep 8 hours straight...and, on occasion, 10 hours.
Now, I'm lucky if I make it 3-4 hours before I wake up. I know what's at the root of my insomnia. Actually, there are several contributing culprits...and they all work together (sort of like a deranged group of Power Rangers) to prevent me from getting restful, uninterrupted sleep.
This is why I usually end up taking naps in the afternoon, and frequently find myself (in the wee hours) on Pinterest.
Early this morning, at about 4 a.m., I was perusing Pinterest and ran across a strikingly beautiful photo. I did some investigating and, after about 20 minutes, I figured out what the picture was. It turned out to be a photo of a place that is 10 minutes away from my house.
How could I not know this place exists? It's so beautiful.
So, today, I took my DH and mom to see this wonder. I didn't tell them where we were going...just that it was going to be a beautiful, peaceful, spiritual outing.
They were intrigued.
We went to see the Chapel of Thanks-Giving. It's a tiny, pan-denominational chapel right in the heart of downtown Dallas. It sits in the corner of Thanks-Giving Square--a quiet, inner-city refuge set aside for people to reflect on the gifts they have been given and, in turn, give thanks.
On the northeast corner of the square (which is really a big triangle) sits the chapel. To me, the chapel sort of looks like a giant Dairy Queen ice cream cone. It's not fancy. In fact, it's very plain. One might even say...vanilla. Its walls are white stucco-covered cement. It's truly a case of "it's what's inside that counts".
Inside is a small, circular room with several chairs arranged in a half circle. A small dais stands at the far side. The lighting is very low and soft. The walls are the same white stucco as on the outside. It's quiet in there. The type of quiet you can feel...like you're immersed in a cotton ball. It's a palpable silence that instantly imbues you with a reverent sense of calm. It's a place where speaking out loud just feels wrong.
But the magic happens when you look...upwards.
When you turn your eyes heavenward, this is what you see...
Inset in the upward-spiraling ceiling are the most glorious abstract stained glass panels I've seen. It's mesmerizing.
I'm sure there are places in every hometown, like this chapel, that many people don't even know exist. I encourage everyone to take some time to seek out and visit these places. You just never know what hidden treasures you'll discover!