Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Reeds in Italy
Part Three: Accidental Tourists

You know, this is a weird post for us. When we started this blog in 2005, we simply wanted to talk about what it was like to live according to the implications of the message of Jesus wherever those implications took us. We wanted nothing more than to "dance with the One what brung us" as we like to say. We certainly did not think we'd be posting travelogues or yapping about our lovely visit to some cultural Mecca. Not that there is anything necessarily wrong with that, but it's just not why we thought we came.

But here's where He brung us this week. And after Nigeria last week, and who knows where in the coming weeks, it only underscores what we have known for sometime: that the more one lays fear aside, lays aside excuses and justification for going partway-- the more one simply follows Him, the more abundant His promised abundant life becomes. Our journey has been nothing short of wildly unpredictable with every step. Sometimes we think we are walking on water.

So this week, He brought us to Milan, Italy. And for three days, we got to be His guests. So here's a bit of Milan.

These first three are of the famous Duomo Plaza, from three angles. Renita is on the far left of this shot.
This is from another angle, actually facing the other angle. The big arch is the entry to the shopping area-- the Duomo cathedral is on the extreme right.

There it is. The cathedral is huge-- the third largest in the country.

The back of the Duomo. Inspired and inspiring gothic architecture.

Inside the Duomo. Thousands of works of art, including over 3000 sculptures, and huge stained glass windows from the sixteenth century.

The stunning sculpture of St Bartholomew, one of the most moving I've ever seen. Tradition says he was flayed alive. So here he is, skinless, actually carrying his own skin as a reminder of his sacrifice. In the Duomo.

The Castello of Milan...

...A structure built in the 12th century. We couldn't stay long, but it was fascinating.

The Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie-- the home of Leonardo Da Vinci's The Last Supper.

It was painted above the kitchen door in the monastery. It is a piece that struck us with its majesty and power. Even though much of it has been lost through age, it is gripping to behold.

A close up pf how it looks on the wall. As bad as it looks in this picture, it looks better on that wall like it is, than any doctored rendition I've ever seen.

Finally, on Thursday, we visited the canals. Milan used to be filled with canals, a bit like Venice, although not on the sea. But they filled most of them in now, except a few. This is a typically quaint restaurant just along side the canal off camera to the right.

He ya go. Actually, they are planning to bring more of the canals back, for tourist purposes. Milan is a world fashion capital, but lags behind several Italian cities in tourists. Thanks to a curve ball throwing God, they got two more this week.