Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door,
I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.
Revelations 3:20 (NIV)
The castle commands attention. Look at me! Look at me! Look at my beautifully crafted stone walls, my manicured lawn, my geometrically detailed windows! Did you notice the gateway? A turreted, bridged walk spanning the river? Did you notice the docks and the shops? The yachts and the afternoon cruises? The cameras? The tourists? Located in the heart of this 1000 Island Region, almost directly across the water from riverside hotels and motels with the multi-windowed and balconied views. Look at me!
We stayed on the outside - looking in. And the castle - was on the inside, looking out...
Beautiful. Stunning. Breathtaking. And it has a story... a romantic, sad, love story.
Beginning in 1900, the Boldt family spent summers in the 1000 Islands at the Boldt Families Wellesley House near Mr. Boldt’s Wellesley Island Farms while 300 workers including stonemasons, carpenters, and artists fashioned the six story, 120 room castle, complete with tunnels, a powerhouse, Italian gardens, a drawbridge, alster tower (children’s playhouse) and a dove cote. Not a single detail or expense was spared.
In January 1904, tragedy struck. Boldt telegraphed the island and commanded the workers to immediately “stop all construction.” Louise had died suddenly. A broken hearted Boldt could not imagine his dream castle without his beloved. Boldt never returned to the island, leaving behind the structure as a monument of his love.
(http://www.boldtcastle.com/visitorinfo/index.php/about/)Metaphor commands my thinking.
I remember when I was on the outside, looking in at the greatest love story our world has ever known. I remember when I allowed my disbelief to overcome my faith. I remember yearning for the peace of green pastures and still waters. I remember the feelings of not-deserving; confusion and turmoil. I remember thinking the distance too great, and the path too difficult; the water was too deep and too wide.
For 73 years, the castle and various stone structures were left to the mercy of the wind, rain, ice, snow and vandals. When the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority acquired the property in 1977, it was decided that through the use of all net revenues from the castle operation it would be preserved for the enjoyment of future generations.Imagine 73 years of neglect. Imagine the damage to the buildings, to the estate, to the island.
Heart Island. Metaphor.
And now imagine the healing, tender care and meticulous attention. Love on Heart Island.
Jesus healed me. He took my brokenness and made me whole. Once upon a time, I stood on the outside of Him, and looked in. And yet, He is always looking out for the lost, lovingly, with great mercy and grace. Yesterday I was reminded of how very far He has brought me.
He can heal you, too.