I took this picture in the church of Irancy, a little village in Bourgogne. The church is in desperate need of restoration, and it made me sad, seeing this beautiful 1400's church so terribly deteriorating. Walls crumbling down and artwork destroyed by lack of maintenance.
This little statue depicting Jeanne d'Arc (Joan of Arc) was sitting on the floor, propped up against a mildew-covered wall. Her stone sword was broken, the other part missing now, and it was like she cried out to me, cried out all her sorrow of being in a place once full of splendor, and now so run-down and falling apart.
Even when I don't think about the grim and pressing situation in the church, this statue grips me, with her broken sword and her lost gaze. How often don't we feel just like her, with our defense broken, our only means of fighting back taken away from us. Alone, not seeing an outcome.
And then, when you look closely, you realize that what she is holding against her heart; her sword, broken as it is, has now become a cross...