more than i can see.

[this post was meant to be done yesterday, but i was without wifi]

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this morning, i got in line with approximately 1/3 of the world’s population, and rode an escalator up into the Vatican.

honestly, i’d never assumed that i would visit such a place. it just seemed like the kind of thing that people like me only hear about, never actually visit.

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it’s pretty insane. talk about the ultimate display of artistic ability, engineering and craftmanship, and pure power.

i’ve never seen so many humans in my life. i hung a radio around my neck, put an earbud in, and listened to a very intelligent woman named Sonia talk about the incredibly famous pieces of sculpture, paintings, tapestries, and buildings. apparently it was a “slow day” [which to me still felt remarkably claustrophobic].

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on an average day, the Vatican sees approximately 35,000 guests a day. that comes out to 12,775,000 yearly once you do the math. you’re welcome.

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[a sculpture that indicates that humanity is slowly destroying the world]

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[the place was full of ornate, fully detailed 3D ceilings such as this. i tripped over my own feet a lot, because

i was so busy looking upwards]

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[st. peter’s basilica is the largest church in the world. basilica = church]

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[did you know that there are giant tapestries that are hundreds of years old? they’re impressive]

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[yeah, that’s not a painting. that’s a tapestry. like needle and thread. um. WHAT]

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[my personal favorite sculpture. this depicts Mary, the mother of Jesus, holding her son in her arms

after He was killed . . . i could almost feel her sorrow and love through the glass]

i took over 500 pictures while i was there. all before 1pm, at which point there was a lunch stop that included ravioli the size of my hand, stuffed with spinach and cheese.

honestly, i have titled this blog post “more than i can see,” because that is exactly how i felt after experiencing the Vatican.

yes, it was so much beautiful and talented artwork. it was incredible and impressive and exhausting.

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while standing in the middle of the basilica, i found myself staring at the intricately carved sculptures covering the walls, the ceiling as high as the eye can reach, the shiny gold plating, and the paintings that defy understanding. and i was blanketed with the weight of such beauty.

it was more than my eye could see.

but God? He is yet greater.

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it says in the scriptures that God does not live in buildings made by human hands. looking at the ancient carved marble pillars holding up this grandiose cathedral, i found myself realizing that those are like toothpicks to God.

He is yet greater.

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all of the artistic abilities of a fantastically skilled painter, who depicted scenes from scripture on the ceiling of the Sistene Chapel, are undeniable. he was super, duper good. [by the way there’s no pictures allowed inside that specific area. i did manage to snag the world’s perfect seat in the far back corner. i spent 30 minutes getting a kink in my neck while i stared upwards. you know, the story of scripture is depicted in those individual paintings. it’s really quite jaw-dropping].

He is yet greater.

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i’m personally very grateful that the God I love, serve, and follow is not contained by a building made with human hands. regardless of how superior those hands may be.

He is yet greater.

and i am grateful that He is so great. because i need him every single day. and He can handle that.

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there is much more to say, but it’s past midnight here and i’ve got another day of exploration ahead of me tomorrow.

much love xo

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