Thursday, February 20, 2014

Restoration in Montreal - Marcia Lee Laycock

Photo by Michel Degray

I was raised with all the tenets of The Church, and tried to do all the right things, say all the right prayers, keep all the right ordinances. I failed, so I left it, convinced I just wasn't good enough for God.

Then one day all that I thought was safe and secure crumbled when I tried to reach for it.
My husband sought the answers first, and in seeking them found more questions, but also found the God of his childhood. I was afraid to look again. Afraid He still wouldn't let me find Him. But I took a risk one day, overlooking the Stewart River in the Yukon Territory, and asked Him to show Himself. He did and my heart melted as I moved into a culture of faith, a community of believers.

As I learned the truth in His word, I became angry at The Church of my childhood. They'd lied to me. So I thought. It was easy to lay the blame at the foot of that altar.

Flash forward twenty years or so - I was holding the portfolio of Communications Coordinator for our church's association. They paid my way to Montreal for a conference and I found myself in a nunnery. Once housing seven hundred women of God, it was reduced to hotel status with a small wing left for the aged Sisters of Charity still in residence. I passed the statues of the virgin on my way to breakfast, glanced sidelong at the portraits of Christ pointing to his heart, exposed. I smiled and said "Bon matins," to the nuns.

Then one night we were invited to go to the Notre Dame Cathedral at the heart of the old city. There was a "sound and light show" there, we were told. We sat in the old pews, heard a lecturer describe the building of the Cathedral as portions of its amazing artwork were lit around us. The sculpture, the art, the richness of history, and yes, of faith, amazed me. But it was when the screen we'd been watching suddenly folded back to reveal the altar that my heart almost stopped. It gleamed, shone, soared toward the heavens, and in the silence forced our eyes to look up. Look up and behold our God.

Our host announced we were welcome to draw near for a closer look. As we walked toward the altar, I kept my eyes raised until we were standing directly in front of it. Then I saw The Lamb.

Carved in bas relief, He sat on the throne with the multitudes around Him. Angels covering their faces with their wings, angels hovering above and around, saints throwing down their crowns, saints bowing. The multitude worshiping. And at the centre, The Lamb.

And I wept there, in that cathedral. I wept because He had chosen to reveal Himself to me in a place where I was convinced He could not be found. He restored my heritage to me, its richness, its beauty, and its essential truth. At the centre, The Lamb.
I wept there, because some day that's where we will be, all of us who believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus – all of us will worship at His feet.

The Apostle John described it in the last book of the Bible, Revelation - "Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang: "Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!" Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!" (Revelation 5:11-13).


Marcia Lee Laycock writes from central Alberta Canada where she is a pastor's wife and mother of three adult daughters. She was the winner of The Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel, One Smooth Stone. Her second novel, A Tumbled Stone was recently short listed in the contemporary fiction category of The Word Awards. Marcia also has two devotional books in print as well as five ebooks. Her work has been endorsed by Sigmund Brouwer, Janette Oke, Phil Callaway and Mark Buchanan.
Visti Marcia's website


  1. Thanks for sharing, Marcia.

    "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world," is one of my favourite Bible verses.

  2. Marcia, wow, lovely post. Thanks for sharing :)

  3. Good Morning Marsha,
    I live about 75 miles south of Montreal on the NY side and hope to get up to visit this incredible House of Worship in late spring. It has worked its way to the top of my list of local places to visit. I have been in Cathedrals all over the world and am looking forward to this incredibly beautiful place!

  4. WE're studying the Book of Revelation just now. It is revealing to say the least. Glad you had a chance to glory in the beauty and holiness of Notre Dame.

  5. A beautiful post, Marcia! I hope to attend the Jane Austen convention in Montreal this fall and look forward to worshipping in the cathedral.

  6. So beautiful, Marcia. Thank you. I have friends who can't get past the fact they they never found the Lord in the church they few up in. I'm glad you can find the worship there.