In 1900 there lived a wealthy man named George Boldt, who loved his wife, Louise. He hired the best architects and hundreds of construction workers to begin building a “castle” for her to commemorate his love. Its setting was a heart-shaped island — Heart Island — in the Thousand Islands area of New York. This may sound like a fairy tale beginning, but it is a true story without an ending of “happily ever after.”
Sadly Louise was frail physically, and she died of heart failure in 1904 before the castle was completed. George was broken-hearted. He ordered work to stop on the castle and never set foot on Heart Island again. He would never see his dream of a six-story 120-room modern-day castle become reality. His dream of sharing a grand home almost beyond imagination with his wife that He adored and his plan of spending the remainder of his life with her would never be his reality.
Even without his romantic love story, castle dream, or tragic loss, George Boldt’s story is interesting. He had arrived in America as a penniless 13-year-old Prussian immigrant, who became a self-made millionaire because of hard work, personal moral character, wise business practices, and hotels that included Waldorf-Astoria and Bellevue-Stratford. Unfortunately his great wealth could not buy the life and love that he lost.
Boldt’s story brings more sadness than hope. However it reminds me of a true story that does give hope. There are other mansions built because of love. There is a love even stronger than George Boldt’s love for his wife. There is a work that will not be stopped because of life’s losses or tragedies.
Jesus Christ Himself is the Architect, Designer, and Builder. He promised a dwelling place prepared especially for His true followers. That promise and His other promises motivated by and given in love offer me hope today.
“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.
In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.
If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself that where I am there you may be also.
And you know the way where I am going.”
Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?”
Jesus said to him, “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14: 1 – 6)