Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Photo of the Daze.....

I know, I know, no photo of the day for June 3, 4, 5, and 6.....well I hope these make up for it.

I had the unusual opportunity (this past Saturday) to photograph a local landmark - the Arcade.  Unusual because the landmark has been closed to the public for more than 10 years.  It rarely has been open at all to the public in that time frame.  The local historical society and the current owner opened it because they are hoping to restore it to it's original 1902 glory and need community support.

The building is large and sprawls over almost an entire city block.  It is several floors tall, and has a majestic facade.  It also has a large rotunda with a glass dome.

But we didn't enter through the majestic facade, we entered through a narrow doorway into a stairwell off a side street.

We left the bright sunshine of June 2011 and walked into the dark, damp, dimly lit, early 1900's.  It was ripe with the smell of old hard wood floors, dust, and damp.  For me, it was amazing.  

When I was a little girl and later as a teenager, I used to visit the Arcade.  During those years the Arcade was just a big, old, dirty building; the rotunda crammed with vendor stalls.  The skylights in the dome had been painted over during WWII for security purposes; and there was so much crammed onto the main floor, I don't remember knowing there was a dome let alone looking up at it.  There were apartments and offices I never saw either.  I do remember the soda fountain where you could get something called a phosphate (a forerunner of modern soda pop).

Anyway, I was thrilled to get to see and photograph the offices; as well as the rotunda which had been abandoned during a Christmas season in the 1990's when the previous owners went bankrupt and just up and left with the Christmas decorations still in place.  To their credit, they had restored the dome and the rotunda to some of its former glory.

So Saturday was a very special day.  My grand daughter was with me.  She was also taking photos - of a place she had never seen.  She wandered behind me into dusty offices with broken windows, snapping away.  

Then we turned a corner, walked through a doorway, and there she was - the rotunda.  My grand daughter let out an audible gasp.  "Now, THIS is why we came,"  I whispered.  "It is so beautiful, it makes me want to cry," she responded.  "Me too." I said.

Later I was thinking about our experience that day at the Arcade, and it came to me that just as I had known that hidden deep behind that mighty facade, and the crumbling outer rooms -  in the inner most part of the Arcade there existed a spectacular place of breathtaking beauty...that God had known exactly that same thing about me.  

That inside my facade of a tough, angry, proud, rebellious young woman; beyond my inner 'rooms' covered with broken dreams, and the dust of crumbling hopes - in the inner most part of me was a hidden place of great potential and awesome beauty. 

I'm so glad He saw it, and came after me - and began the restoration process years ago; the moment I gave Him the 'key' to my Arcade.  

I am still a "work in progress" and am, by no means, finished - but I am so much better than before!  

I pray you will allow Him access to your secret places - your hidden places of awesome beauty - so He can restore you and share your beauty with the world.


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