I don’t really know where my love for Italy began, but as I walked these beautiful ancient streets, I was enthralled by beauty and history all rolled into one.
Church bells rang out Ave’ Maria and caused my heart to sing, making me want to spin with with excitement. Sheer overwhelming joy of being in such a place, history set within church walls, ancient stone streets but then I remembered, thought to myself “get a grip – you’re a middle aged woman, those days of innocent twirling should be long gone?”
Walking into another Cathedral it was all I could do to stop myself singing. Words bubble up from somewhere deep inside me and ‘I can’t stop the music!”
Sometimes, just a song of deep reflection rose from within. I felt the sense of awe, holy reverence surrounding a place, but on other occasions, I felt a strong urge to shout out, “JESUS IS ALIVE, HE’S ALIVE — DON’T YOU KNOW HE’S ALIVE ?”
I sing it out inside my head, in argument to death and doom splattered over walls, sepulchres, hidden graves. Perhaps I’m seeing it wrong? Perhaps they never knew a resurrected Christ.
My inner twirling ceases and I am sad. Sad that this is all that’s left of what truly happened all those years ago.
But there was this one day, when I stumbled into a church somewhere in Rome, I felt peace and even a little inside twirl brewing. My eyes turned left and I saw the towering picture of a beautiful angel leaning down to touch a little child. My ears inclined to a still small voice I know well, and in a voice that sounded just like mine I heard these words.
“Remember, I sent an Angel that day. Touched your shoulder, just like that, just like the picture painted long before you stepped foot here. I foreknew you. Knew you’d need that touch to carry you to where you are now, knew this moment,” and there was more.
Right there in that ancient church I’m met, reminded of the poem written one night by my dear Mum.
My eyes filled with tears and I knew that God still inhabited those places, maybe not all of them, but some and He still met with people as they came and went. Always waiting, always watching. He saw bended reverent knees, tears in wooden pews and He came, He comes.
Child like faith, oh how we need that and a heart willing to twirl, you’re never too old.