So I went into the basilica here to enjoy the murals. They have a lovey presentation guide book now with pictures of everything, which is new since I was last here three years ago. They are massive and medieval and incredibly impressive, though a few panels are incomplete.
It was one of those panels that grabbed my attention.
The resurrection panel has almost nothing in it. In the midst of all the colour and detail and flashing eyes all around, there is just bare plaster - and two solitary moments that have been restored.
First, everyone who walks past it sees the foot of the risen Christ, still bearing nail prints, standing firmly on the devil who is being squashed and consigned to a coffin. Second. Jesus' outstretched hand is lifting someone from the grave and giving them life.
These tiny fragments on these huge walls reduced me to tears. Christ stands triumphant over the things that defeat us. His foot is stronger, even maimed and bloody, than any enemy or foe. O Lord please crush the things that crush me so effectively. Help me see this picture and trust this truth.
And then realise that your hand holds mine. Your hand pulls me up. When I feel destroyed, you are the one who makes me alive again. It's not just about the end of all things. Its not just about death. It's about the hundred deaths we all experience too often. And your foot is strong enough to finish them off. And your grip firm enough to lift even me.
So often religious art just makes me squirm. And then I see something that makes me soar.