Kari & Ryan
This is What Art-Lovers and Christians Will Love About Rome
this is a continuation of our previous post on Rome: Lessons Learned from Impromptu Stunt Driving and Almost Dying in Rome.
Back to Rome we drove like banshees, pleading with every breath that we would make our tour. We had a 10:20am tour scheduled to see the Vatican. Our problem? We were in Pompeii, a 3 hour drive from Rome, and we had slept in.
Lesson 6: Everything That Can Go Wrong, Will
There had been plenty of time for us to reach our tour that morning...until my alarm didn't go off.
We dashed out the door, watching our ETA on the GPS the entire way.
We hit some construction. It updated.
We drove a little faster.
Maybe we'll make it!
Oh crap.. Is this really happening?
As we barreled down the Italian highway, we strove to make up time. Every few minutes we'd gain a bit of hope back in the form of a minute here, a minute there. Only to lose it again as we came upon construction, traffic, or took a wrong turn.
We tried calling GetYourGuide to see if they could put us on a later tour. They couldn't.
We kept hoping. We pulled into a parking garage across from the Vatican museums at 10:15am. This was the moment of truth!
We BOLTED, practically flew, from the parking garage in full sprints.
We made it to our tour at 10:19am, with literally 1 minute to spare.
Lesson 7: Take an Art-Lover or a History Buff
Michelangelo signed his name only once on any of his artworks. It was here, on the Pieta.
It is said that Michelangelo invested so much love and labor into this early work of his that he left a part of himself in it by writing his name--something he never did in any other work he created. I have always loved this sculpture because it is not perfectly proportional, yet it is truly gorgeous. Clearly Mary is too large, her calf measuring half the height of Jesus. Yet, the statue is delicate, refined, and carefully posed. To me it is a message of how beginners can make beautiful things and that perfection is in the imperfections.
There was no logical reason why we made it to our tour. I am sure we had some divine assistance. I am so grateful for the chance we had once more to visit these beautiful works of art.
Lesson 7: Take The Chance to Strengthen Your Faith
Whatever your religion, the Vatican can be a prayerful and holy place. Despite the throngs of tourists, there are opportunities to pause, contemplate, and draw closer to God.
We took the opportunity of being in Rome to visit the Rome Temple of the Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-day Saints. The temple is a sacred place where we enter into the House of the Lord to gain knowledge, participate in ceremonies called ordinances, be married for time and all eternity, and perform ordinance work for our ancestors who did not have a chance when they were on the earth. They can then choose whether to accept the work or not.
In the Rome temple there was such incredible peace. In my short interactions with the Italian people, I watched them embrace one another, welcome complete strangers into their arms, touch one another with gentle love and kindness, and smile.
I am so grateful for my knowledge of Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father who I know love me and are aware of my every need. We were so blessed to travel and have experienced many miracles. From meeting up with friends and finding new ones, to making tours that were clearly impossible for us to make on time, to being kept safe on crazy roads, rental car damage not being nearly as bad as we expected it to be, to running into friends in the airport on our flight home.
I’m a firm believer in divine intervention--God has ever greater presence than we often realize. I don’t believe in coincidences, but I do believe in a hand of God that reaches into our lives and touches us with love.