I was about to snap the picture when I caught movement on the left of where I was standing so I stopped. A man, looking directly at what I was about to take a picture of, was motionless, arms crossed, standing erect and appearing quite focused. His lips were moving and given where we were, I knew he was praying.
I waited as I thought it'd be rude to include him in the shot I was looking to take. He continued to pray.
For whatever reason, he had captured my attention and I couldn't walk away. We were in one of the numerous side chapels in the beautiful Saint Mary by the Sea Basilica in Barcelona, more appropriately called the Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar. The missus, her sister and her husband had gone shopping after we had eaten a late lunch at one of the many cafés along La Rambla. I had elected to go my own way, promising to meet back at the cafe and knowing that the Basilica was somewhat nearby.
After walking around the interior a couple of times, I had stopped at a life sized crucifix, I'm guessing it was between 10 and 15 feet tall, and was about to snap a picture of it when the aforementioned gentleman had caught my eye.
He was casually dressed, wearing a light jacket and would not take his eyes off that crucifix as he prayed. There was no indication he had noticed me and so I didn't move, not wanting to distract him from his prayers or intrude upon what was clearly a private, and based solely by the look on his face, a most intense moment.
Finally he finished but not before walking up to the crucifix, which was raised such that the Christ figure's feet were about eye level for him. There, he reached up and clapped his hands on Christ's legs numerous times, as if to prod and cajole Him into meeting his needs. He then crossed himself, glanced my way, nodded and walked away confidently with what appeared clearly to me to be a renewed faith.
I was struck by it for reasons I still can't really wrap myself around comprehending.
His act of faith had however spurred my own. I was briefly overcome by what I had seen and knelt at the kneeler after he left asking God for that which He alone knows I need.
After praying for but a moment, I stood, and like the gentleman, reached up and clapped my own hands on the Christ figure's legs. Then walked away hoping for my own renewed faith.