I had the amazing blessing and privilege of traveling to Italy with my dear friend Jessie and her family. Here are my Italy memoirs. As they happened. With only some points embellished to keep life interesting. All of the characters are real, so if they resemble someone you know, it’s probably them.
We saw a cathedral, a town square, a town hall…among other things I can’t recall because jet lag has gotten the best of me today.
I’m fairly certain I’ve been the only person in Italy repetitively opening the Washington Capitals app on my iPad and reloading every few seconds in hopes of a score update. I’m sure I’m the onIy person who jumped up and down in Montalcino when the Caps won game 6 and the only person in Roma devastated by their game 5 loss.
An interesting note on the whole Italian experience is that tour guides, and pretty much anyone who talks to you about any monument, building, picture, painting, tunnel, gelato shop, pizzeria, piazza, monument, sculpture, etc. declares it ‘very important’. I can not tell oh-how-many very important things I have seen. Some of the things they don’t explain the importance, we just know they’re important. So we snap pictures like good tourists do.
I don’t have a point, I’m not going anywhere with this.
But I’ll tell this story. Yesterday we went to a winery in…somewhere. I can’t remember where. Except it was down the street from a church built in the 700s and we could hear the monks chanting.
The winery was like every other Tuscan building, old and gorgeous, full of arches and old stone and marble. With astounding views, and simplistic decor because the architecture spoke for itself.
But on the walls of one of the buildings there was a cross. A gorgeous cross. The kind that must have a story and love and passion behind it. So I asked the lady about it. I think she was offended I would ask about a cross when I was supposed tone discussing wine. Jesus always beats wine in my book. Unless of course its Jesus turning water to wine. Oh well.
Where was I? They told me it was from a shop not far, in Piensa, completely full of handcrafted iron work. I was bound and determined to find the cross. Thankfully, Jessie was too. So when we told her parents and our driver that we would like to completely rearrange the day we had planned for today so we could go to a different town to find this cross, everyone responded so graciously.
So we packed up this morning for Piensa. The hometown of Pius who was a Pope way back when and who hails from a gorgeous town. On the way we passed Russell Crowe’s home from Gladiator and a lot, lot lot of fields. And then we were there. In Piensa (which I should note, is a very important town). We meandered down streets only wide enough for a few people, and in and out of shops that smelled like stinky cheese (literally). Then we found the iron shop.
But more importantly, we found the cross.
Occasionally I think its important to seek out the treasure in the mist of millions of treasures. When all the world if alive and vibrant and offering so much, it’s still important to seek out the thing that pulled on your heart strings. To cancel plans and drive to a town you never intended on going too to buy a cross to never intended to find because it resonated with something in your heart.
Occasionally, I feel that way about treasures.
I always feel that way about The Cross. It’s worth any amount of inconvenience, any length of detour to find Christ. To find His redemption. To find the resurrection and restoration only available because of what happened one Friday on the ultimate Cross.
Get hung up on the glory. Rearrange plans. Be slightly inconvenient if you have too. Drive out of the way. Past homes and fields you never intended on finding. Do whatever it takes to find yourself in the presence of the ultimate Cross.
The Wonderful Cross.