High Street is a very boring place for kids. While it’s wonderful for adults who love to shop, children can often be seen idling complacently, lagging behind their parents and generally making a nuisance of themselves.
Timothy was no exception. Though it was still only early morning, and he knew his mother was far from finished her shopping, he was already bored to tears. Having tried (and failed) to pull her away numerous times, he now hung off her leg, blowing his bangs out of his face with his bottom lip and scanning the streets for something interesting.
In the distance he spotted a cathedral. He knew, even at the tender age of 6, that it was supposed to be a grand and godly place, and that the adults went there to show their respect and reverence, but it didn’t look very reverent to him. Not from the outside, anyway. It looked like it needed a good washing. The entire building was grimy, particularly the windows at the top, and he said as much to his mother.
Surprisingly, she didn’t shush him or offer him a bored ‘mm-hmm…’ but instead looked up from what she was doing, peering across the cityscape at the church. After a moment she agreed, commenting that it became very hard to clean such an old and delicate structure over time. The inside, she assured him, was much nicer.
“Can we go there?” he asked.
“Of course, honey. Just a few minutes.”
Finally, after what seemed like quite a few minutes, they headed off for the Cathedral. It was even dirtier up close.
When they stepped inside, however, the contrast was stunning. The floor and walls were awash with the light of every colour in the spectrum, floating and dancing across everything in the Cathedral. Timothy watched, mesmerized by the patterns of light as they played on the walls and floor around him.
Suddenly he spotted something. A figure. Well-disguised as it was, it was there, shifting in and out of the kaleidoscopic refractions, appearing and re-appearing in different places–sometimes more than one at once.
“Look!” he said, grabbing his mom’s hand and pointing. “Do you see it? What is it?”
“Well, remember the dirty windows you showed me earlier?” she replied, gesturing across the cathedral to the high, stained-glass windows at the back. “There’s actually a saint in there, and when the light shines through, it brings her to life on the floor, making her image dance for us across the stones.”
Timothy took this information to heart, saying nothing, but staring on in amazement.
A few days later his class at school was having a special religious instruction.
“Does anyone here know what makes a saint?” the teacher asked the class.
Timothy’s hand shot up. “A saint is someone who the sun shines through, and when it does, the stones come to life.”