Thursday, October 22, 2009

My Vatican expereince!

Michelangelo's "Judgment Day" fresco on the wall of the Sistine Chapel. (It is a bit blurry because I had to be sneaky to take the photo... not supposed to... oops!) Standing in the chapel, I was amazed at how I felt. I didn't come to Italy- home of the church, the Pope, Roman Catholicism, and think that I could be effected by the paintings on the wall. But I was. I stood there and reflected on the meaning behind each biblical representation- Adam and Eve, Daniel, Jacob, the disciples, the last supper, and so on and so on. Over 40 years, Michelangelo worked on this ceiling, painting each fresco with detail, and as I stood there I wondered if and how each of these pieces of Christian history effected his life?
After about 30 minutes standing and scanning the room, I managed to find a seat along the side of the chapel. I thought about the words to the song Here in Your Presence by New Life Worship: "The heaven is trembling in awe of your wonder, the kings and the kingdoms are standing amazed... here in your presence we are undone; here in your presence heaven and earth become one; here in your presence all things are new; here in your presence everything bows before you..." I pulled out my iPod and listened to the song and got tears in my eyes... I realize that not everyone who walks into this chapel and stands there staring up at the incredible artwork is going to see things the way I do, but God totally used Michelangelo to tell his story on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel... Millions of people know and read about it; it is part of history books. Thousands upon thousands visit and see it with their own eyes- and maybe some of those thousands will simply admire it while others will know what I am talking about. But today, I sat there praying that people would be changed upon entering this place, that they would view Christ's story on that ceiling with fresh eyes- and walk away renewed.
There is so much Christian history within the walls of the Vatican Museum. The photo above is a faded bronze sculpture of the Ark- little pairs of animals, Noah and his family carved into the sides. Another reminder to me of the renewal Christ privides. I spent 4 hours in the Vatican Museums. I soaked up so much history it is bound to come pouring out of me at the first chance I have to explain what I saw here. The extent of the collections here are incredible and showy- which seems to go against the nature of living simply. But each piece tells the story of faith, belief, and change throughout time. Today was truly an incredible and meaningful experience for me.
Mom and Dad, this photo is for you. A statue of a goat in the Animal Hall. Apparently, this goat was a big deal... P.S. How is landscaping goa-ting? Ha Ha Ha That cracks me up!
Finally, "The Sphere within sphere" sculpture by Arnaldo Pomodoro... rain or sun this sculpture shines boldly! Maybe that is it's purpose... to shine no matter what it is weathering. All in all, the museum was a fantastic experience- worth the 40 minute wait in the pouring rain! Tomorrow I head back to Prague. I am looking forward to sleeping in my own bed and seeing my friends. I am grateful that I have had this downtime and explored another part of the world! Where will you find "Nikki-Waldo" next... wait and see! Ciao! -- Nikki

1 comment:

  1. Awesome description Nikki. I kinda felt like I was there with you. Thanks for sharing your experience.